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(Late Secretary of the Gaelic Society of Inverness ), 


. I. 




All JHffhta Kcscrved. 








Defence of Ossian against Macaulay By the Rev. George Gilfillan 

Main Laghach An English Translation By Professor Blackie 9 

Celtic Literature By Professor Morley ...... 10 

Plea for Planting in the Highlands By Charles Fraser-Mackiutosh, Esq., M.P. 12 
Montrose at Inverlochy A Poem By Win. Allan ... 

Correspondence Fraternal Greeting By H. Gaidoz, Editor Rtvue Ccttique ... 17 
Ossianic Controversy between J. F. Campbell of Islay and Dr Clark, Kilmallio 18 
Do. do. between Hector Maclean of Islay and Dr Hately Waddell 

Parts First and Second ... ... ... 342 372 

Remnants of Gaelic Poetry Seanachaidh, Nos. I. and II. ... ... 23, 356 

Highland Notes and Comments ... ... ... 26 

The Sunset of the Year A Poem By D. R. Williamson ... 28 

Gaelic Society Transactions Review ... ... ... 29 

Kenlochewe Bard's Poems Review ... ... ... 32 

The State of the Ossanic Controversy By the Rev. P. Hately Waddell, LL.D. 

Nos. I., II., and III 35, 67, 99 

Highland Ceilidh By Alastair Og 

I. Introduction and the Spell of Cadboll ... ... ... ... 40 

II. Unpublished Gaelic Elegy on Bailie Hector of Dingwall ; and the 

Raid of Cilliechriost ... ... ... ... ... 80 

III. Burning of Cilliechriost A Poem and a Daring Feat by Young 

Glengarry in Eileaa-Donnan Castle ... ... ... 136 

IV. A Legend of Castle Urquhart and the '45 ... ... ... 186 

V. Elopement of Barbara Grant of Grant with the "High Chief of 

'vintail" A Poem ... ... ... ... ... 214 

VI. 1, ' of Glengarry Castle ; and a Gaelic Elegy to Whisky, by 

Alastair Buidhe Mac lamhair (Alexander Campbell), the 

Bard of Gairloch ... ... ... ... ... 245 

VII. Conversation about the Bards ; and the Muirthartach Ossianic Poem 306 
VIII. The Cummings and the Shaws of Badenoch A Legend ; and a 

Gaelic Song by Alastair Buidhe ... ... ... ... 331 

The Old Claymore A Poem-By William Allan 49 

Curiosities from the Burgh Court Records of Inverness By Alex. Fraser ... 60 
On Druidical Chants and Choruses By Charles Mackay, LL.D. ... ... 57 

On Visiting Druim-a-Liath A Poem By Principal Shairp of St Andrtws ... 65 
To Professor Blackie A Lochaber Lilt By " Nether-Lachaber " ... ... 71 

General Sir Alan Cameron, K.C.B., Colonel of the 79th Cameron Highlander! 

A Biography-Chaps. I. to XXIX. 72, 122, 147, 175, 203, 231, 291, 312, 351, 384 
Queries and Answers ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 79, 162 

Can This be the Land ? A Poem By Win. Allan ... 86 

Highland Folk-Lore By " Nethcr-Lochaber " 
Imagination A Poem- -By D. R. Williamson 

Lachlan Mackinnon, the Skye Bard By Sgiathanack (the Rev. Alex. 
Macgregor, M.A.) ... ... ... ' 

Fingal By Minnie Littlejohn ... ... ..." ... 

Irish Land Statistics ... ... ... ... ... 105 

New Yew in the Old Style in the Highlands -By Knockfin 

A Lament for the Late Mackintosh of Mackintosh -By Win. Allan ... 

The Game Laws By Evan Mackenzie 

A Remarkable Feudal Custom in Skye By Syiathanach ... 

Aryan Origin of the Celtic Race and Languages, and Logan's Scottish Gad ... 

Song of the Summer Breeze-By D. R. Williamion 

The Massacre of Glencoe By the Rev, George Gil611an NOB. I, and II. 131, 163 

iv, Contents. 


Gaelic Society of Inverness Office-bearers for 1876 ,., ... ... 141 

The Scottish Highlanders going to Carolina By the Rev. John Darroch, M.A. 142 

The First Printed Gaelic Book By Sgiathanach ... ... ... ... 152 

Kilmuir- Ossian and Witchcraft ... ... ... ... ... 155 

Flora, the Star of Armadale A Poem By Wm. Allan ... ... ... 156 

" Ossian and the Clyde" Review ... ... ... ... ... 157 

Teaching Gaelic in Highland Schools By the Editor ... ... ... 169 

The Songs and Melodies of the Gael By Archd. Farquharson ... ... 179 

The Harp Bringeth Joy Unto Me A Song By Donald Macgregor ... ... 185 

The Last of the Clan A Poem By Wm. Allan ... ... ... ... 191 

Baron Bruno and other Fairy Stories Review ... ... ... ... 192 

Craig Phadruig and other Vitrified Forts, with Geological Remarks By the 

Rev. Alex. Macgreror, M.A. ... ... ... ... ... 195 

Oban's Bonnie Bay A Poem By Wm. Allan ... ... ... .,. 208 

Marvellous Escape of Captain Macarthur of the Scottish Highlanders of 

Carolina By the Rev. John Darroch, M.A. Nos. I. and II. 209, 241 

The Duke of Argyll on Teaching Gaelic in Highland Schools ... ... 220 

The Ladies of Ossianic Times By Minnie Littlejohn ... ... ... 221 

Reminiscences of Dugald Buchanan- Review ... ... ... ... 225 

The Faith of Ossian By the Rev. P. Hately Waddell, LL.D. ... ... 227 

The Scottish Emigrant A Poem By D. Crerar ... ... ... ... 234 

The Latest Version of the Massacre of Glencoe By Charles Innes ... ... 235 

The Death of Ossian A Poem By Wm. Allan ... ... ... ... 239 

The Highland Emigrant A Song By A. V. St Andrews ... ... 240 

The Celtic Origin of the Word Law By Thomas Stratton, M,D., R.N. 250, 381 

Ounich Bay A Poem (in Gaelic and English) By A. Cameron ... .., 253 

An T-Each Ursann By Alex. Mackay ... ... ... ... .,. 255 

lona ; No I Choluim Chille (in Gaelic) By Donald Campbell ... ... 258 

Is the Gaelic Ossian a Translation from the English ?- By Professor Blackie 265, 299 

Prince Charlie and Mary Macalister By Torquil ... ... ... ... 275 

The Highlands and Present Position of Highlanders - By the Rev. Alex. 

Macgregor, M.A. ... ... ... ... ... ... 280 

Where are the Men ? A Poem By Wm. Allan ... ... ... ... 287 

Correspondence The Cymry in the North of Scotland By Wm. Brockie ... 288 

Gaelic Songs ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 295 

The Gaelic Class-BookReview ... ... ... ... 296 

Domhnull Duaghal By Alex. Mackay ... ... ... ... ... 303 

Remarks on Dr Stratton's Article on the Scotch Word Law By C. S. Jerram, 

M.A., Oxon ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 316 

Assembly of the Gaelic Society of Inverness- Professor Blackie on Teaching 

Gaelic in Highland Schools ... ... ... ... ... 319 

TheGunns By Torquil ... ... ... ... ... 322 

Ian Vor A Drama Review ... ... ... ... ... ... 325 

Roman Catholic Gaelic Testament Review ... ... ... ... 328 

Logan's Scottish Gael Review ... ... ... ... ... ... 329 

Macleod's March A Poem By Wm. Allan ... ... ... ... 330 

The Fairies and Domhnull Duaghal By Alex. Mackay ... ... ... 339 

To Professor Blackie A Song ... ... ... ... ... ... 342 

Loch Sloy -A .Poem By Wm. Allan ... ... ... ... ... 360 

Ourselves ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 362 

Teaching Gaelic in Highland Schools By the Rev. Thomas Maclauchlan, 

LL.D., F.S. A., Scot. ... 363 

James Macpherson, the famous Musician and Freebooter- By Torquil ... 366 
Correspondence The Cymry in the North of Scotland ; and the Translator of 

Ossian ... ... ... ... ... 370,394 

Balclutha's Doom A Poem By Wm. Allan ... ... ... ... 378 

Opinions of the Press ... ... ... ... 396 


No. I. NOVEMBER 1875. 


IN the circular issued, announcing the CELTIC MAGAZINE, we stated that 
it was to be a Monthly Periodical, written in English, devoted to the 
Literatune, History, Antiquities, Traditions, Folk-lore, and the Social and 
Material Interests of the Celt at Home and Abroad : that it would bo 
devoted to Celtic subjects generally, and not merely to questions affecting 
the Scottish Highlands : that it would afford Reviews of Books on sub- 
jects interesting to the Celtic Races their Literature, questions affecting 
the Land such as Hypothec, Entail, Tenant-Right, Sport, Emigration, 
Reclamation, and all questions affecting the Landlords, Tenants, and Com- 
merce of the Highlands. We will also, from time to time, supply Bio- 
graphical Sketches of eminent Celts at Home and Abroad, and all the Old 
Legends connected with the Highlands, as far as we can procure them, 
beginning with those of Inverness and Ross shires. 

We believe that, under the wiser and more enlightened management 
now developing itself, there is room enough in thj Highlands for more 
Men, more Land under cultivation, more Sheep and more Shepherds, 
Avithnut any diminution of Sport in Grouse or Deer: that there is room 
enough for all for more gallant defenders of our country in time of need, 
for more produce, more comfort, and more intelligence. We shall afford a 
iiK'ilhiu) for giving expression to these views. When submitting the first 
number of the Magazine to the public, we think it proper to indicate our 
own opinion on these questions at greater length than we could possibly 
do in a circular; but, while doing this, we wish it to be understood that 
we shall at all times be ready to receive contributions on both sides, the 
only conditions being that they be well and temperately written, and that 
no side of a question will obtain undue prominence facts and arguments 
nl.. no allowed to work conviction. Thus, we hope to make the Celtic 
l[<i<ju:ue a mirror of the intelligent opinion of the Highlands, and of all 
those interested in its prosperity and progress. 


In dealing with Celtic Literature, Antiquities, Traditions, and Folk- 
lore, we must necessarily be Conservative. It is impossible for a good 
Celt to be otherwise than conservative of the noble History of his An- 
cestors in love and in war, in devotion and daring. If any should deem 
this feeling on our part a failing, we promise to have something to say 
for ourselves in future, and not only give a reason for our faith, but show 
that we have something in the Highlands worth conserving. 

In dealing with the important question of Sport, we cannot help taking 
a common sense ^iew of it. We cannot resist the glaring facts which, 
staring us in the face, conclusively prove that the enormous progress made 
in the Highlands during the last half century, and now rapidly going on, 
is mainly due to our Highland Sports. A great amount of nonsense has 
been said and written on this question, and an attempt made to hold 
grouse and deer responsible for the cruel evictions which have taken place 
in the North. Arguments, to be of any force, must be founded on facts; 
and the facts are, in this case, that it was not grouse or deer which caused 
the Highland evictions, but sheep and south country sheep farmers. 
The question must be argued as one not between men and deer, but be- 
tween men and sheep, and sheep against deer. We believe there is room 
enough for all under proper restrictions, and, to make room for more men, 
these restrictions should be applied to sheep or deer. 

We believe that it Avould be a wise and profitable policy for Landlords 
as well as for Tenants to abolish Hypothec and Entail, and to grant com- 
pensation for improvements made by the latter. We are quite satisfied 
from experience, that the small crofter is quite incapable of profitably 
reclaiming much of our Highland Wastes without capital, and at the same 
time bring up a family. If he is possessed of the necessary capital, he can 
employ it much more advantageously elsewhere. The landlord is the only 
one who can reclaim to advantage, and he can hardly be expected to do 
so on an entailed estate, for the benefit of his successors, at an enormous 
rate of interest, payable out of his life-rent. If we are to reclaim success- 
fully and to any extent, Entail must go ; and the estates will then be 
justly burdened with the money laid out in their permanent improvement. 
The proprietor in possession will have an interest in improving the estate 
for himself and for his successors, and the latter, who will reap the great- 
est benefit, will have to pay the largest share of the cost. 

Regarding Emigration, we have a matured opinion that while it is a 
calamity for the country generally, and for employers of labour and far- 
mers in particular that able-bodied men and women should be leaving the 
country in their thousands, we unhesitatingly assert that it is far wiser for 
these men and women to emigrate to countries where their labour is of 


real value to them, and where they can spend it improving land which 
will not only be found profitable during their lives, but which will be 
their own and their descendants freehold for ever, than to continue 
starving themselves and their children on barren patches and crofts of 
four or five acres of unproductive land in the Highlands. We have ex- 
perienced all the charms of a Highland croft, as one of a large family, and 
wo unhesitatingly say, that we cannot recommend it to any able-bodied 
person who can leave it for a more promising outlet for himself and family. 
While we are of this opinion regarding voluntary emigration, we have 
no hesitation in designating forced evictions by landlords as a crime de- 
serving the reprobation of all honest men. 

We shall also have something to say regarding the Commercial Inter- 
ests of the Highlands its trade and manufactures, and the abominable 
system of long Credit which is, and has proved, so ruinous to the tni'les- 
man ; and which, at the same time, necessarily enhances the price of all 
goods and provisions to the retail cash buyer and prompt payer. On all 
these questions, and many others, we shall from time to time give our 
views at further length, as well as the views of those who dill'er IVom us. 
We shall, ab least, spare no effort to deserve success. 

The HIGHLAND CEILIDH will be commenced in the next number, 
and continued from month to month. Under this heading will be given 
Highland Legends, Old Unpublished Gaelic Poetry, Kiddles, Proverbs, 
Traditions, and Folk-Lore. 



" IT'S an ill bird that befouls its own nest." And this is the first count 
of the indictment we bring against Lord Macaulay for his treatment of 
Ossian. Macpherson was a Highlandman, and Ossiau's Poems were the 
glory of the Highlands ; Macaulay was sprung from a. Highland family, 
and as a Highlandman, even had his estimate of Ossian been lower than 
it was, he should have, in the name of patriotism, kept it to himself. 
But great as was Macaulay's enthusiasm, scarce a ray of it was ever per- 
mitted to rest on the Highland hills ; and glowing as his eloquence, 
it had no colours and no favours to spare for the natale solum of his sires. 
Unlike Sir Walter Scott, it can never be said of him that he shall, after 
columns and statues have perished, 

A mightier monument command 
The mountains of his native land. 

There are scattered sneers at Ossian's Poems throughout Macaulay's Essays, 
notably in his papers on Dryden and Dr Johnson. In the latter of these 
he says : " The contempt he (Dr J.) felt for the trash of Macpherson was 
indeed just, but it was, we suspect, just by chance. He despised the 
Eiiigal for the very reason which led many men of genius to admire it. 
He despised it not because it was essentially common-place, but because it 
had a superficial air of originality." And in his History of England 
occur the following words : " The Gaelic monuments, the Gaelic usages, 
the Gaelic superstitions, the Gaelic verses, disdainfully neglected during 
many ages, began to attract the attention of the learned from the moment 
Avhun the peculiarities of the Gaelic race began to disappear. So strong 
was this impulse that where the Highlands were concerned men of sense 
gave ready credence to stories without evidence, and men of taste gave 
rapturous applause to compositions without merit. Epic poems, which 
any skilful and dispassionate critic would at a glance have perceived to 
be almost entirely modern, and which, if they had been published as 
modern, woidd have instantly found their proper place in company with 
Blackmore's Alfred and Wilkie's Epigomad, were pronounced to be fifteen 
hundred years old, and were gravely classed with the' Iliad. Writers of a 
very different order from the impostor who fabricated these forgeries," &c., 
&c. Our first objection to these criticisms is their undue strength and 
decidednesfi of language, which proclaims prejudice and animus on the 
part of the writer. Macaulay -here speaks like a heated haranguer or 
Parliamentary partizan, not like an historian or a critic. Hood says " It 
is difficult to swear in a whisper " ; and surely it is more difficult still to 
criticise in a bellow. This indeed points to what is Macaulay's main 
defect as a thinker and writer. He is essentially a dogmatist. He " does 
not allow for the wind." " Mark you his absolute shall" as was said of 
Coriolanus. No doubt his dogmatism, as was also that of Dr Johnson, is 
backed by immense knowledge and a powerful intellect, but it remains 
dogmatism still. In oratory excessive emphasis often carries all before it, 
but it is different in writing there it is sure to provoke opposition and to 


defeat its own object. Had he spoken of Macpherson's stilted style, or 
his imperfect taste, few would have contradicted him, hut the word 
I' trash" startles and exasperates, and it does so because it is unjust ; it 
is too slump and too summary. Had he said that critics had exair _ 
Macpherson's merits, this too had been permitted to pass, but when he 
declared them in his writings to be entirely "without merit," he insults 
the public which once read them so greedily, and those great men too who 
have enthusiastically admired and discriminatingly praised them. Mac- 
pherson's connection with these Poems has a mystery about it, and he was 
probably to blame, but every one feels the words, " the impostor who 
fabricated these forgeries," to be much too strong, and is disposed, in the 
resistance and reaction of feeling produced, to become so far Macpherson's 
friend and so far Macaulay's foe. We regret this seeming strength, l.ut 
real infirmity, of Macaulay's mode of writing not merely because it has 
hurt his credit as a critic of Ossian, but because it has injured materially 
his influence as an historian of England. The public are not di> 
with all their admiration of talents and eloquence, to pardon in an his- 
torian faults of boyish petulance, prejudice, and small personal or political 
prepossessions, which they would readily forgive in an orator. Macaulay 
himself, we think, somewhere speaking of Fox's history, says that many 
parts of it sound as if they were thundered from the Opposition lien, 'lies 
at one or two in the morning, and mentions thisas a defect in the book. The 
same objection applies to many parts of his own history. His sweeping 
character of Macpherson is precisely such a hot hand-grenade as he might 
in an excited mood have hurled in Parliament against some Celtic M.P. 
from Aberdeen or Thurso whose zeal had outrun his discretion. 

Macaulay, it Avill be noticed, admits that Ossian's Poems were admired 
by men of taste and of genius. But it never seems to have oermvd to 
him that this fact should have made him pause and reconsider his opinions 
ere he expressed them in such a broad and trenchant style. Hugh Miller 
speaks of a critic of the day from whose verdicts when he found himself 
to differ, he immediately began to re-examine the grounds of his own. 
This is a very high compliment to a single writer ; but Macaulay on the 
Ossian question has a multitude of the first intellects of modern times 
against him. The author of the History of England is a great num.-. l>nt 
not so great as Napoleon the First, Goethe, and Sir Walter Scott, nor is 
he greater than Professor Wilson and William Hazlitt; and yet all these 
great spirits were more or less devoted admirers of the blind Hard of 
Morven. Napoleon carried Ossian in his travelling carriage ; lie had it 
with him at Lodi and Marengo, and the style of his bulletins full of 
faults, but full too of martial and poetic fire is coloured more \>\ < ' 
than by Corneille or Vc Itaire. Goethe makes Homer and < )>>ian the two 
companions of Werter's solitude, and represents him as saying, " V u 
should see how foolish I look in company when her name is mentioned, 
particularly when I am asked plainly how I like her. How I like her! 
I detest the phrase. What sort of creature must he be who merely liked 
Charlotte; whose whole heart and senses were not entirely absorbed by 
her. Like her! Some one lately asked me how I liked <>.-siau." This 
it may be said is the language of a young lover, but all men are at one 
time young lovers, and it is high praise and no more than the truth to 


say that all young lovers love, or did love, Ossian's Poems. This is true 
fame. Sir Walter Scott says that Macpherson's rare powers were an honour 
to his country ; and in his Legend of Montrose and Highland Widow, 
his own style is deeply dyed by the Ossianic element, and sounds here 
like the proud soft voice of the full-bloomed mountain heather in the 
breeze, and there like that of the evergreen pine raving in the tempest. 
Professor Wilson, in his " Cottages" and his " Glance at Selby's Ornitho- 
logy," is still more decidedly Celtic in his mode of writing ; and, in his 
paper in Blackwood for November 1839, " Have you read Ossian T he 
has bestowed some generous, though measured praise, on his writings. 
He says, for instance " Macpherson had a feeling of the beautiful, and 
this has infused the finest poetry into many of his descriptions of the 
wilderness. He also was born and bred among the mountains, and though 
he had neither the poetical nor the philosophical genius of Wordsworth, 
and was inferior far in the perceptive, the reflective, and the imaginative 
faculties, still he could see, and feel, and paint too, in water colours and 
on air canvass, and is one of the Masters." Hear next Wilson's great 
rival in criticism, Hazlitt. They were, on many points bitter enemies, on 
two they were always at one Wordsworth and Ossian ! " Ossian is a 
feeling and a name that can never be destroyed in the minds of his readers. 
As Homer is the first vigour and lustihood, Ossian is the decay and old 
age of poetry. He lives only in the recollection and regret of the past. 
There is one impression which he conveys more entirely than all other poets 
namely, the sense of privation the loss of all things, of friends, of good 
name, of country he is even without God in the world. He converses 
only with the spirits of the departed, with the motionless and silent clouds. 
The cold moonlight sheds its faint lustre on his head, the fox peeps out 
of the ruined tower, the thistle waves its beard to the wandering gale, and 
the strings of his harp seem as the hand of age, as the tale of other times 
passes over them, to sigh and rustle like the dry reeds in the winter's 
wind ! If it were indeed possible to shew that this writer was nothing, 
it would only be another instance of mutability, another blank made, 
another void left in the heart, another confirmation of that feeling which 
makes him so often complain 'Roll on, ye dark brown year, ye bring no 
joy in your wing to Ossian !' " " The poet Gray, too," says Wilson, "frequ- 
ently in his Letters expresses his wonder and delight in the beautiful and 
glorious inspirations of the Son of the Mist." Even Malcolm Laing 
Macpherson's most inveterate foe who edited Ossian for the sole purpose 
of revenge, exposure, and posthumous dissection, is compelled to say that 
" Macpherson's genius is equal to that of any poet of his day, except per- 
haps Gray." 

In another place (Bards of the Bible 'Jeremiah') we have' thus spoken 
of Ossian : " We are reminded [by Jeremiah] of the ' Harp of Selma,' 
and of blind Ossian sitting amid the evening sunshine of the Highland 
valley, and in tremulous, yet aspiring notes, telling to his small silent and 
Aveeping circle, the tale of 

Old, unhappy, far-off things, 
And battles long ago." 

It has become fashionable (through Macaulay chiefly) to abuse the Poems 


of Ossian ; but, admitting their forgery as well as faultiness,"they seem to 
us in their better passage* to approach more nearly than any English 
prose to the force, vividness, and patriarchial simplicity and tenderness of 
the Old Testament style. Lifting up, like a curtain, the mist of tho past, 
they show us a world, unique and intensely poetical, peopled by heroes, 
bards, maidens, and ghosts, who are separated by their mist and their 
mountains from all countries and ages but their own. It is a great pic- 
ture, painted on clouds instead of canvass, and invested with colours as 
gorgeous as its shades are dark. Its pathos has a wild sobbing in it, an 
^Eolean tremulousness of tone, like the wail of spirits. And thau Ossian 
himself, the last of his race, answering the plaints of the wilderness, the 
plover's shriek, the hiss of the homeless stream, the bee in the heather 
bloom, the rustle of the birch above his head, the roar of the cataract bo- 
hind, in a voice of kindred freedom and kindred melancholy, conversing 
less with the little men around him than with the giant spirits of his fa- 
thers, we have few finer figures in the whole compass of poetry. Ossian 
is a ruder " Robber," a more meretricious " Seasons," like them a work of 
prodigal beauties and more prodigal faults, and partly through both, has 
impressed the Avorld." 

Dr Johnson's opposition to Ossian is easily explained by his aversion 
to Scotland, by his detestation of what he deemed a fraud, by his dislike 
for what he heard was Macpherson's private character, and by his preju- 
dice against all unrhymed poetry, whether it was blank verse or rhyth- 
mical prose. And yet, his own prose was rhythmical, and often as tumid 
as the worst bombast in Macpherson. He was too, on the whole, an arti- 
ficial writer, while the best parts of Ossian are natural. He allowed him- 
self therefore to see distinctly and to characterise severely the bad things 
in the book where it sunk into the bathos or soared into the falsetto, but 
ignored its beauties, and was obstinately blind to those passages where it 
rose into real sublimity or melted into melodious pathos. 

^lacaulay has, in various of his papers, shewn a fine sympathy with 
original genius. He has done so notably in his always able and always 
generous estimate of Edmund Burke, and still more in what he says of 
Shelley and of John Banyan. It was his noble panegyric on the former 
that first awakened the " late remorse of love" and admiration for that 
abused and outraged Shade. And it was his article on Bunyan's Pilgrim's 
Progress which gave it popular as it had been among religionists a clas- 
sical place in our literature, and that dared to compare the genius of its 
author with that of Shakespere and of Milton. But he has failed to do 
justice to Ossian, partly from some early prejudice at its author and his 
country, and partly from want of a proper early Ossianic training. To ap- 
preciate Ossian's poetry, the best, way is to live for years under the sha- 
dow of the Grampians, to wander through lonely moors, amidst drenching 
mist and rain, to hold trystes with thunderstorms on the summit of e 
hills, to bathe in sullen tarns after nightfall, to lean over the ledge and 
dip one's naked feet in the spray of cataracts, to plough a solitary path 
into the heart of forests, and to sleep and dream for hours amidst 
less glades, on twilight lulls to meet the apparition of the winter 
rising over snowy wastes, to descend by her ghastly light precipices when 
the eagles are sleeping, and returning home to be haunted by night visions 


of mightier mountains, wider desolations, and giddier descents. A por- 
tion of this experience is necessary to constitute a true " Child of the 
Mist" ; and he that has had most of it and that was Christopher North 
was best fitted to appreciate the shadowy, solitary, and pensively sub- 
lime spirit which tabernacles in Ossian's poetry. Of this Macaulay had 
little or nothing, and, therefore, although no man knew the Highlands in 
their manners, customs, and history better, he has utterly failed as a critic 
on Highland Poetry. 

We might add to the names of those authors who appreciated Ossian, 
Lord Byron, who imitates him in his " Hours of Idleness"; and are forced 
to include among his detractors, Lord Brougham, who, in his review of 
these early efforts, says clumsily, that he won't criticise it lest he should be 
attacking Macpherson himself, with whose own " stuff" he was but im- 
perfectly acquainted, to Avhich Lord Byron rejoins, that (alluding to Lord 
Byron being a minor) he would have said a much cleverer and severer 
thing had he quoted Dr Johnson's sarcasm, that " many men, many wo- 
men, and many children could write as well as Ossian." 

We venture, in fine, to predict that dear to every Scottish heart shall 
for ever remain these beautiful fragments of Celtic verse verse, we scruple 
not to say, containing in the Combat of Fingal with the Spirit of Loda, 
and in the Address to the Sun two of the loftiest strains of poetic genius, 
vieing with, surpassing " all Greek, all Roman fame." And in spite 
of Brougham's sneer, and Johnson's criticisms, and the more insolent at- 
tacks of Macaulay, Scotchmen both Highland and Lowland will continue 
to hear in the monotony of the strain, the voice of the tempest, and the 
roar of the mountain torrent, in its abruptness they will see the beetling 
crag and the shaggy summit of the bleak Highland hill, in its obscurity 
and loud and tumid sounds, they will recognize the hollows of the deep 
glens and the mists which shroud the cataracts, in its happier and nobler 
measures, they will welcome notes of poetry worthy of the murmur of 
their lochs and the waving of their solemn forests, and never will they see 
Ben-Nevis looking down over his clouds or Loch Lomond basking amidst 
her sunny braes, or in grim Glencoe listen to the Cona singing her lonely 
and everlasting dirge beneath Ossian's Cave, which gashes the breast of 
the cliff above it, without remembering the glorious Shade from whose 
evanishing lips Macpherson has extracted the wild music of his mountain 


ALASTAIR BUIDHE MAC!AMHAIR, the Gairloch Bard, always wore a " Cota 
Gearr" of home-spun cloth, which received only a slight dip of indigo the 
colour being between a pale blue and a dirty white. As he was wading the 
river Achtercairn, going to a sister's wedding, William Ross, the bard, ac- 
costed him on the other side, and addressing him said, 

'S ann than aoibheal air bard an Rugha 
'Sa phiuthar a dol a phosadh 
B-f hearr dhuit fuireach aig a bhaile 
Mo nach d' rinn thu malairt cota. 

To which Alastair Buidhe immediately replied 

Hud a dhuine ! tha'n cota co'lach rium f hein 
Tha e min 'us tha e blath 
'S air cho mor 's gha 'm beil do ruic-sa 
Faodaidh tusa leigeal da. 




Ho ! my bonnie Mary, 
My dainty love, my queen, 
The fairest, rarest Mary 
On earth was ever seen ! 
Ho ! my queenly Mary, 
Who made me king of men, 
To call thee mine own Mary, 
Born in the bonnie glen. 

Young was I and Mary, 
In the windings of Glensmoil, 
When came that imp of Venus 
And caught us with his wile ; 
And pierced us with his arrows, 
That we thrilled in every pore, 
And loved as mortals never loved 
On this green earth before. 

Ho ! my bonnie Mary, &c. 

Oft times myself and Mary 

Strayed up the bonnie glen, 

Our hearts as pure and innocent 

As little children then ; 

Boy Cupid finely taught us 

To dally and to toy, 

When the shade foil from the green tree, 

And the sun was in the sky. 

Ho ! my bonnie Mary, &c. 

If all the wealth of Albyn 
Were mine, and treasures rare, 
What boots all gold and silver 
If sweet love be not there ? 
More dear to me than rubies 
In deepest veins that shine, 
Is one kiss from the lovely lips 
That rightly I call mine. 

Ho ! my bonnie Mary, &c. 

Thy bosom's heaving whiteness 
With beauty overbrims, 
Like swan upon the waters 
When gentliest it swims ; 

Like cotton on the moorland 
Thy skin is soft and fine, 
Thy neck is like the sea-gul 
When dipping in the brine. 

Ho ! my bonnie Mary, &c. 

The locks about thy dainty ears 

Do richly curl and twine ; 

Dame Nature rarely grew a wealth 

Of ringlets like to thine : 

There needs no hand of hireling 

To twist and plait thy hair, 

But where it grew it winds and falls 

In wavy beauty there. 

Ho ! my bonnie Mary, ke. 

lake snow upon the mountains 

Thy teeth arc pure ami white; 

Thy breath is like the cinnamon, 

Thy mouth buds with delight. 

Thy cheeks are like the cherries, 

Thine eyelids soft and fair, 

And smooth thy brow, untaught to frown, 

Beneath thy gulden hair. 

Ho ! my bonnie Mary, ic. 

The pomp of mighty kaisers 

Our state doth fur surpass, 

When 'neath the leafy coppice 

We lie upon the grass ; 

The purple flowers around us 

Outspread their rich array, 

Where the lusty mountain streamlet 

Is leaping from the brae. 

Ho ! my bonnie Mary, Ac. 

Nor harp, nor pipe, nor organ, 
From touch of cunning men, 
Made music half so eloquent 
As our hearts thrilled with then. 
When the blythe lurk lightly soaring, 
And the mavis on the spray, 
And the cuckoo in the greenwood, 
Sang hymns to greet the May. 

Ho ! my bonnie Mary, &. 



PROFESSOR MORLEY, at a meeting called by the Gaelic Society of London, 
in Willis' Eoom, spoke as follows, and we think his remarks, being those 
of a great and unprejudiced Englishman of letters, well worth reproducing 
in the Celtic Magazine : 

He said that the resolution, which had a fit proposer in a distinguished 
representative of the north, was seconded by one [himself] who had no 
other fitness for the office than that he was altogether of the south, and 
had been taught by a long study of our literature to believe that north 
and south had a like interest in the promotion of a right study of Celtic. 
We were a mixed race, and the chief elements of the mixture Avere the Celtic 
and Teutonic. The Teutonic element gave us our strength for pulling 
together, the power of working in association under influence of a religious 
sense of duty; but had we been Teutons only, we should have been 
somewhat like the Dutch. He did not say that in depreciation of the 
Dutch. They are popularly associated with Mynheer Vandunck, but are 
to be associated rather with grand struggles of the past for civil and re- 
ligious liberty, for they fought before us and with us in the wars of which 
we had most reason to be proud, and gave the battle-field upon Avhich our 
Sidney fell at Zutphen. Nevertheless, full as Dutch literature is of 
worthy, earnest thought, it is not in man to conceive a Dutch Shakspere. 
This was not his first time of saying, that, but for the Celtic element in 
our nation, there would never have been an English Shakspere ; there 
would never have been that union of bold originality, of lively audacity, 
with practical good sense and steady labour towards highest aims that 
gave England the first literature in the world, and the first place among 
the nations in the race of life. The Gael and Cymry, who represented 
among us that Celtic element, differed in characteristics, but they had in 
common an artistic feeling, a happy audacity, inventive power that made 
them, as it were, the oxygen of any combination of race into which they 
entered. He had often quoted the statement made by Mr Fergusson in 
his " History of Architecture," that, but for the Celts, there would hardly 
have been a church worth looking at in Europe. That might be over 
expressive of the truth, but it did point to the truth ; and the more we 
recognise the truth thus indicated the sooner there would be an end of 
ignorant class feeling that delayed such union as was yet to be made of 
Celt with Saxon each an essential part of England, each with a strength 
to give, a strength to take. We had remains of ancient Celtic literature ; 
some representing with such variation as oral traditions would produce 
a life as old as that of the third century j.n songs of the battle of 
Gabhra, and the bards and warriors of that time, some recalling the first 
days of enforced fusion between Celt and Teuton in the sixth century. 
There were old manuscripts, enshrining records, ancient when written, of 
which any nation civilised enough to know the worth of its own litera- 
ture must be justly proud. Our story began with the Celt, and as it 


advanced it was most noticeable that among the voices of good men re- 
presenting early English literature, whenever the voice came from a man 
who advanced himself beyond his fellows by originality of thought, by 
happy audacity as poet or philosopher, it was (until the times of Chaucer) 
always the voice of a man who was known to have, or might reasonably 
be supposed to have, Celtic blood in his veins ; always from a man born 
where the two races had lived together and blended, or were living side 
by side and blending. Before the Conquest it was always in the north 
of England, afterwards always along the line of the west, until in tho 
latter part of the fourteenth century, London was large and busy enough 
to receive within itself men from all parts, and became a sort of mixing- 
tub for the ingredients of England. From that time the blending has 
been general, though it might even now be said that we are strongest 
where it lias been most complete. With such opinions then, derived by 
an Englishman who might almost call himself most south of the south, 
from an unbiassed study of the past life of his country, he could not do 
other than support most heartily the resolution "That a complete view 
of the character and origin of society, as it exists in these countries, can- 
not be given without a knowledge of the language, literature, and tra- 
ditions of the Celts." He welcomed heartily the design of founding a 
Celtic Chair in the University of Edinburgh as a thing fit and necessary 
to be done, proposed to be done in a fit place, and by a most fit proposer. 
The scheme could not be better recommended than by the active advocacy 
of a scholar like Professor Blackie, frank, cheery, natural ; who caused 
Mr Brown and Mr Jones often to shake their heads over him, but who 
was so resolved always to speak his true thought frankly, so generous in 
pursuit of worthy aims, with a genial corn-age, that concealed m> part of 
his individuality, that he could afford to look on at the shaking of tin- 
heads of Mr Brown and Mr Jones, while there could be no shaking of tin- 
public faith in his high-minded sincerity. As to the details of the 
establishment of the chair there might be difficulties. The two Celtic, 
languages had to be recognised. The ideal Professor whom one wish, d 
to put in the new chair should have, with scholarly breadth of mind, a 
sound critical knowledge of the ancient forms of both, and of their ancient 
records, and he would be expected to combine with this a thoi 
mastery of at least Gaelic, Avhich he would have to teach also as a poken 
tongue. Whatever difficulty there might be in this was only so imieh 
the more evidence of the need of putting an end to the undue n 
that had made Celtic Scholarship so 'scarce. Nothing would ever U- 
done by man or nation if we stayed beginning till our first act shonl 
achieve perfection. He could only say that it was full time to begin, 
and that the need of a right study of Celtic must bo fully 
the study of English literature itself was to make proper advance in use- 
fulness, and serve England in days to couie, after its own way, with all 
its powers. 



As this Magazine is devoted to subjects of interest and importance to 
Highlanders and the Highlands, no more fitting subject could be dealt 
with in its pages than that of Forestry. 

Whatever conduces to the wealth of a district, to the amelioration of 
its climate, and beauty of its scenery, is most praiseworthy. It is undeni- 
able that planting extensively and widely will effect these objects, and of 
this subject it is proposed now to treat. 

That great part of Scotland was at one time forest is universally ad- 
mitted. The remains of magnificent trees are to be constantly met with 
in the reclamation of land, many of the peat bogs being the formation of 
decayed vegetation. 

It is frequently asked by the inexperienced, how it is, that while great 
trees are found in bogs, planted trees will not now grow except in a dwar- 
fish degree, but the answer is obvious. These peat bogs are themselves 
the product of vegetation as before noted, and it is an ascertained fact that 
the tendency of these peat bogs and formations is to increase both by ab- 
sorbing the surrounding soil, and by exercising an upward pressure. 
Many iheories and allegations have been put forth as to the period or 
periods when the original forests of Caledonia were burnt. It may be 
generally admitted in the absence of any authentic contemporaneous re- 
cord, that three particular periods are commonly pointed at, first in the 
time of the Roman occupation, second in the reign of Edward the First, 
and third in the time of Mary, Queen of Scots. 

The three principal native trees in the Highlands, as now understood, 
which grow to any size, are the fir, oak, and ash ; and it may be said 
roundly, that few standing trees exist in Scotland of a greater age than 
300 years. No doubt there may be exceptions, but the rise of the planta- 
tions of beech, sycamore, plane, chestnut, &c., cannot be put further back 
than the accession of James VI. to the English throne. That Scotland 
was, in the early part of the 17th century, very bare may be inferred from 
the numerous Acts passed to encourage planting, and the penalties imposed 
upon the cutters of green wood. A great part of the Highlands must ever 
lie entirely waste, or be utilized by plantations. The expense of carriage 
to market was till lately in the inland and midland districts so great, that 
no inducement was held out to proprietors to plant systematically and 
continuously. The opening up of the Highlands by the Caledonian Canal 
at first, and now more especially by railways, has, however, developed faci- 
lities for market which should be largely taken advantage of. The mar- 
ket for soft woods, such as fir, larch, and birch, is ever widening ; and 
great as is the consumption now, it cannot be doubted it will still greatly 

What greater inducement can there be to any exertion whatever, than 
that of pleasure combined with profit ? We undertake to show that on 
this point both co-exist. To an idle man it is pleasant to saunter about 
and observe the growing of his plants, contrasting their progress from 
month to mouth, and year after year. The child of tender years, the most 


ignorant peasant, have alike their faculties of interest and observation 
aroused and excited by the contemplation of the gradual rise and change 
in the progress of the plant, "We have heard from those unable to speak 
the English language, and in the poorest circumstances, poetic description 
and the liveliest manifestion of admiration at a thriving growing wood. 
Again, to the man who is engrossed with harassing mental occupations, 
what pleasure and satisfaction is this contemplation ; and, as in the case 
of our immortal novelist, not only giving immediate consolation and hap- 
piness, but powerfully incentive to intellectual effort. 

Let us turn, however, to the practical bearings of our subject ; and we 
shall take the case, say, of an estate of 20,000 acres. Let us suppose 500 
acres to be arable, and 4,500 acres, either from the nature of the soil or 
its altitude, to be unfit for any improvement whatever. 1000 acres would 
be probably required for ordinary pasture lands, and 10,000 acres for hill 
pasture. It is far from our wish that any plantations should diminish the 
already scanty population, or unduly press upon the pastoral agricultural 
occupants. We therefore have given roughly what may be held as full 
souming for stocks upon such an estate. It must be always recollected 
it is not acres alone that will sustain sheep or cattle, or maintain a 
first-class stock ; on the contrary, it is the quality of the ground, and whe- 
ther enclosed and drained. The matter of enclosure is one that has long 
been recognised as most essential in the case of sheep grounds, but the 
cost until the introduction of wire-fencing, was so great, as to be almost 
prohibitory. Hill pastures should be enclosed just as in the case of arable 
lands, and with efficient drainage and judicious heather burning, it is not 
too much to say that at least one-third more in number could be pastured 
on the same ground, and the stock woidd be of a higher class than on lands 
unfenced and undrained. 

We have now left 4000 acres or so for plantation. If the proprietor 
be in a position to do so, and do not object to lay out some money unpro- 
ductively, he will cause trees to be planted along all the roads through 
the estate, putting clumps and beltings near the farm steadings. This is 
a matter that is sometimes entirely neglected, rendering the buildings con- 
spicuous, bare and ugly, a blot on the landscape. In other cases, the 
plantations are too near the buildings, making them uncomfortable and 
unhealthy. Two things, viz., shelter and beauty, are required, which 
a judicious eye should easily aom bine. The proprietor, when there is 
appearance of a natural growth should select such for enclosure, and on such 
an estate we place this at 500 acres. Only those who have practical 
knowledge and experience in the matter, can realise the extraordinary 
vitality of the seeds of birch, fir, oak, and others, over u great part of the 
Highlands. Nothing is required over thousands upon thousands of acres, 
but simple enclosure. These natural trees are both beautiful and valu- 
able, and therefore their encouragement does not admit of question. N" 
tree is more beautiful than the birch, which is found all over the II 
lands, makes great annual progress, and commands a steady price. 
spaces, &c., may be filled in with other woods for the purposes of adorn- 

There now remains the plantation, properly so called, upon our est 
of 3,500 acres. The selection of this ground is a matter requiring carefu 


consideration, because the land best adapted for planting is generally the 
best pasture, and every proprietor will, of course, endeavour to do his 
tenant as little injury as possible. At the same time, he will require to 
bear in mind that the too common idea that any ground will do for plant- 
ing is a serious error. It is not often that the person who plants lives to 
reap the full benefit of his labours, and it would therefore be doubly hard, 
if these labours were thrown away. 

Forestry, however, is now so generally understood, that with reason- 
able precaution no mistake ought to occur in the selection of the ground, 
or the tree best suited to the soil. Hard wood is of course out of the ques- 
tion in a great Highland plantation. Time occupied in reaching maturity, 
and carriage to market unconsidered, iron has entirely superseded this 
class of wood. Therefore fir and larch form the staple for Highland plan- 
tations. On the other hand, for beltings, roadsides, and in the vicinity of 
houses, hard wood shotild be planted. Two hundred years ago people 
generally were wise in this respect, for they planted ash trees and the like, 
each of which could stand by itself and bid defiance to the elements. 
These now form beautiful and picturesque objects round old duchuses, 
where hardly one stone stands on another, and thus alas! in many cases 
alone denoting where respectable families once had their homes ; under 
whose spreading branches stout lads and bonnie lasses interchanged love 
tokens, and went over that old, old story, which will never die. 

With the introduction of larch about the end of last century, which 
soon became, and deservedly, a favourite in the Highlands, it unhappily 
was used as a single belting in exposed places near farm houses and 
steadings. The consequence, as every one who travels through the 
Highlands must be painfully conscious of, has been trees shapeless and 
crooked, giving no shelter, and unpleasing in view. A ludicrous illustra- 
tion of this may be seen from the Highland Railway between Torres and 
Dunphail, the larches having grown up zig-zag, according as the several 
winds happened to prevail. It is well known that no regular plantation 
can in beauty equal a natural one. There is too much stiffness and form, 
but the man of taste will avoid straight lines, and utilize the undulations 
of the land, blending the landscape as it were into one harmonious whole. 

Let us now in the last place look at the pecuniary results. The en- 
closure, drainage, and planting will of course vary according to locality 
and the nearness to sources of supply and labour, but it may be said that 
3 sterling per acre is a very ample sum for all costs. If there were one 
great block of plantation, it would not amount to one-half. Eeturns, 
again, must also vary, depending on proximity to railway or sea-board, 
but we have heard it stated by those well qualified to give an opinion, 
that from 30s to 2 per acre per annum will be an ultimate probable re- 
turn. When it is considered that the lands we have referred to, putting 
both pastoral and shooting rents together, will not approach six shillings 
per acre per annum, the pecuniary advantages are seen to be enormous.* 

No life insurance policy is equal to a large and judicious plantation 

* According to present and approved modes of valuation, no great time need elapse 
after planting before the wood becomes of admitted value. Ten years after, the valua- 
tion will, if the wood be thriving, equal three times the original cost, including interest 
and rent. 


by a proprietor, as a provision for his youngor children. The premium 
in this case will not need to run longer than twenty-five yours, and !. 
not only beautified his estate and made it more valuable:, but also trans- 
mitted it to his heir without incum.bran.ce. 

No wonder then that in the county of Inverness large proprietors, such 
as the Earl of Seafield, Mackintosh, Sir John Ramsden, and others, have 
taken this matter up on a great scale. To them large plantations might 
to be in the same category as minerals are in England; and, unlike their 
English brethren, this source of wealth is not exhaustive but re-current. 

To the public these plantations are not only objects of beauty and an 
amelioration of climate, but the thereby greatly increased wealth of the 
country ensures diminished taxation. 

These remarks are purposely made in the simplest language, because 
chiefly intended to attract the intelligent attention of the commonality of 
the people resident in, or connected with, the Highlands, and the subject 
will be again brought up. C. F.-M. 


[WE consider ourselves and our readers very fortunate indeed in having procured the 
following as the first of a series of contributions from Mr William Allan, Sundcrlaiul, 
whose recent publication " Heather Bells, or Poems and Songs" has been so favour- 
ably received by the Keviewers. A prior publication " Hame-spun Lilts" WHS also 
well received. Of the author, the Inverness Courier of 19th August, says- ' 
fail, if you try, to find from first to last the slightest imitation of a single one of the many 
that, within the last hundred years, have so deftly handled the Doric lyre. Before the 
appearance of this volume, Mr Allan was already favourably known to us as the anUmr 
of 'Hame-spun Lilts,' ' Rough Castings,' and by many lively lilts besides in the poets 
column of the Glasgow Weekly Herald. There is about everything he has written a sturdy, 
honest, matter-of-fact ring, that convinces you that, whether you rank it high or low, his 
song like the wild warblings of the song-thrush in early spring is from the very h 
All he says and sings he really means; and it is something in these days of soil-any 

our Modern Ossian-wcre destined to hail from Bonnie Dundee?" The ixottman of Oct. 
1st, says "There is true pathos in many of the poems. Such a ini-ce ; 
Leavin" must find its way to the hearts in many a cottngo home. Indeed, i 
Bells,' both deserves, and bids fair to acquire, popularity."] 

Dark Winter's white shroud on the mountains was lying, 
And deep lay the drifts in eacli corrie and vale, 
Snow-clouds in their anger o'er heaven were flying, 
Far-flinging their wrath on the frost-breathing gale ; 
Undaunted by tempests in majesty roaring, 
Unawed by the gloom of each path-covered glen, 
As swift as the rush of a cataract pouring, 
The mighty Mont-rose led his bravo Highlandmen : 
Over each trackless waste, 
Trooping in glory's hasto, 
Dark-rolling and silent as mist on the heath, 
Resting not night nor day, 
Fast on their snowy way 
They dauntlessly sped on the pinions of death. 


As loud as the wrath of the deep Corryvreckan, 

Far-booming o'er Scarba's lone wave-circled isle, 

As mountain rocks crash to the vale, thunder-stricken, 

Their slogan arose in Glen Spean's defile ; 

As clouds shake their locks to the whispers of Heaven ; 

As quakes the hushed earth 'neath the ire of the blast ; 

As quivers the heart of the craven, fear-riven, 

So trembled Argyle at the sound as it passed ; 

Over the startled snows, 

Swept the dread word " Montrose," 
Deep-filling his soul with the gloom of dismay, 

Marked he the wave of men, 

Wild-rushing thro' the glen, 
Then sank his proud crest to the coward's vile sway. 

To Arms ! rung afar on the winds of the morning, 
Yon dread pennon streams as a lurid bale-star : 
Hark ! shrill from his trumpets an ominous warning 
Is blown with the breath of the demon of war ; 
Then bright flashed his steel as the eye of an eagle,' 
Then spread he his wings to the terror-struck foe ; 
Then on ! with the swoop of a conqueror regal, 
He rushed, and his talons struck victory's blow : 

Wild then their shouts arose, 

Fled then their shivered foes, 
And snowy Ben-Nevis re-echoed their wail ; 

Far from the field of dread, 

Scattered, they singly fled, 
As hound-startled deer, to the depths of each vale. 

Where, where is Argyle now, his kinsmen to rally ? 
Where, where is the chieftain with timorous soul 1 
On Linnhe's grey waters he crouched in his galley, 
And saw as a traitor the battle blast roll : 
Ungrasped was the hilt of his broadsword, still sleeping, 
Unheard was his voice in the moment of need ; 
Secure from the rage of h'erce foemen, death-sweeping, 
He sought not by valour, his clansmen to lead. 

Linnhe, in scornful shame, 

Hissed out his humbled name, 
As fast sped his boat on its flight-seeking course ; 

Sunk was his pride and flown, 

Doomed then his breast to own 
A coward-scarred heart, ever lashed with remorse. 




[Open to all parties, influenced by none, except on religious discussions, which will not 
be allowed in these columns under any circumstances. ] 


67 Rue de Richelieu, Paris, September 19, 1875. 

DEAR SIRS, I am glad to hear that you contemplate the foundation 
of a Celtic Magazine at Inverness. It is very gratifying for the Celtic 
scholars on the Continent to see that the old spirit of Celtic nationality 
has not died out in all the Celtic countries, and especially that a country 
like the Highlands of Scotland that may boast equally of the beauty of 
her mountains and glens, and of the gallantry of her sons will keep her 
language, literature, and nationality in honour. The Gaelic Society of 
Inverness is doing much good already, but a Magazine can do even more, 
by its regularly bringing news and instruction. 

A wide field is open to you. The Gaelic literature, the history poli- 
tical, military, religious, social, economic, &c. of the Scottish Gaels at 
home ; the collecting of popular tunes, songs, proverbs, sayings, and even 
games ; the history and the development of Gaelic colonies and settlements 
abroad ; the history of Highland worthies, and also of Foreign worthies 
who are of Scotch descent (I think, for instance, of Macdonald, one of the 
best marechaux of Napoleon I.), &c. Although the other branches of the 
Celtic family be separated from the Scotch Gaels the Irish by their re- 
ligion, the Welsh by their dialect, the French Bretons by their religion 
and their dialect at the same time, yet the moral, social, and literary 
state of these" cousins of yours may form, from time to time, interesting 
topics to patriotic Highland readers. The field of Celtic literature extends 
far and wide, and awaits yet many reapers. You will not fail to make a 
rich harvest in your poetic and patriotic Scotland ; and at Inverness, in 
the middle of the Gaelic country, you have the best opportunity of sue 
cess. I am, Dear Sirs, yours very faithfully, 

H. GAIDOZ, Editor of the Revue Celtique. 



Altnacraig, Oban, September 20, 1875. 

SIR, In the last number of T/ie Gaedheal, a Gaelic periodical which 
may be known to some of your readers, I inserted a translation from the 
German of an essay on the authenticity of Macpherson's Ossian, appended 
to a poetical translation of Fingal by Dr August Ebrard, Leipsic, 1868. 
My object in doing this was to give Highlanders ignorant of German, as 
most of them unhappily are, an opportunity of hearing what a learned 
German had to say on the character of the most famous, though in my 
opinion far from the best, book in their language. I did not in the slight- 
est degree mean to indicate my own views as to this vexed question. I 
know too well the philological conditions on which the solution of such a 
question depends to hazard any opinion at all upon the subject in the pre- 
sent condition of my Celtic studies. I am happy, however, to find that 
one good result has followed from the publication of this translation a 
translation which, by the way, only revised by me, but made by a young 
lady of great intellectual promise viz., the receipt of a letter from the 
greatest living authority on the Ossianic question, I mean John Campbell 
of Islay, traveller, geologist, and good fellow of the first quality. This 
letter, which I enclose, the learned writer authorises me to print, with your 
permission, in your columns ; and I feel convinced you have seldom had 
a more valuable literary communication. I am, &c., 


Conan House, Dingwall, September, 1875. 

MY DEAR PROFESSOR BLACKIE, In the last number of Tlie Gael I find 
a translation by you from a German essay, and a quotation from a German 
writer who calls Macpherson's Ossian " the most magnificent mystification 
of modern times." The mists which surround this question need the light 
of knowledge to shine from the sitter on that rising Gaelic chair which 
you have done so much to uplift. In' the meantime let me tell you three 
facts. On the 9th December 1872, I found out that Jerome Stone's 
Gaelic collection had been purchased by Mr Laing of the Signet Library, 
and that he had lent the manuscript to Mr Clerk of Kilmallie. On the 
25th November 1872, I found a list of contents and three of the songs in 
the Advocates' Library, but too late to print them. The learned German 
relied on Stone's missing manuscript as proof of the antiquity of Macpher- 
son's Ossian, because it was of older date. It contains versions of ten 
heroic ballads, of which I had printed many versions in " Leabhar na 
Feinne." There is not one line of the Gaelic printed in 1807 in those 


songs which I found. I presume that Mr Clerk would have quoted Stone's 
collection made in 1755 if he had found anything there to support his 
view, which is that Ossian's poems are authentic. Stone's translation is 
a florid English composition, founded upon the simple old Gaelic ballad 
which still survives traditionally. I got the old music from Mrs Mactav- 
ish at Knock, in Mull, last month. She learned it from a servant in 
Lorn, who sung to her when she was a girl. 

2d, The essayist relied upon a lost manuscript which was named " A 
Bolg Solair" (the great treasure.) That designation seems to be a version 
of a name commonly given by collectors of Scotch and Irish popular lore 
to their manuscripts. The name seems rather to mean " rubbish bag." 
The idea was probably taken from the wallet of the wandering minstrel 
of the last century who sang for his supper. A very great number of pa- 
per manuscripts of this kind are in Dublin and in the British Museum. 
I own. two ; but not one of these, so far as I have been able to discover, 
contains a line of the Gaelic Ossian printed in 1807, which one learned 
German believed to be old and the other a mystification. 

3d, The essayist relies upon the "Bed Book." In 1873 Admiral 
Macdonald sent me the book, which he had recovered. Mr Stain lisli 
O'Grady helped me to read it, and translated a great part of it in Juno 
and July 1874 in my house. It is a paper manuscript which does not 
contain one line of Macpherson's Ossian. It does contain Gaelic poems 
by known authors, of which copies are in other manuscripts preserved in 
Ireland. I do not question the merits of Ossian's poems. Readers can 
judge. They are Scotch compositions, for the English is Bfacphereon'i, 
and the Gaelic is Scotch vernacular. A glance at old Gaelic, of which 
many samples are printed in late numbers of the Parisian Revue Celtlqne, 
ought to convince any reader of Ossian that modern Scotch vernacular 
Gaelic cannot possibly represent the language of St Patrick's time. I have 
hunted popular lore for many years, and I have published five volumes. 
I have gathered twenty-one thick foolscap volumes of manuscript. I have 
had able collectors at work in Scotland ; I had the willing aid of Stokes, 
Hennessy, Standish O'Grady, Crowe, and other excellent Irish scholars in 
ransacking piles of Gaelic manuscripts in Dublin, London, Edinburgh, 
and elsewhere. I could never find an uneducated Highlander who could 
repeat any notable part of the Gaelic poems which were circulated gratia 
soon after 1807. Nobody ever has found one line of these poems m any 
known writing older than James Macpherson. I agree with many speakers 
of Scotch Gaelic who have studied this question. We hold that th< 
Gaelic Ossian of 1807 is, on the face of it, a manifest translation from J 
lish ; and that the English was founded upon an imperfect acquaint*] 
witli genuine old Scotch Gaelic ballads. These are still commonly s 
They are founded upon the mythical history which still is tradu 
known all over Scotland and Ireland. It was old when Keating WK 
it was old when the Book of Leinster was written about 1 130. It 
is a strange thing that so little should be known in Great 
this curious branch of British literature. I suppose that no oth 
in Europe can produce uneducated peasants, fishers, and paupers, w 
heroic baUads as old as 1130 and 1520, which have been orally pro 
Some fragments about Cuchullin, which I have gathered can be trace. 


the Book of Leinster. Many "ballads which I have heard sung in the 
Scotch Isles were written by the Dean of Lismore in 1520. By travelling 
to Tobermory, you may still hear Win. Robertson, a weaver there, tell the 
story of Cuchullin, and sing the song of " Diarmaid," the " Burning of 
the Fenian "Women," and many other heroic ballads. I heard him sing 
them in 1872, when he said that he was eighty-seven. I am, yours very 


Kilmallie Manse, September 25, 1875. 

SIB, There is no man living who has done so much for Gaelic litera- 
ture as Mr Campbell, and, just in proportion to my' sense of the greatness 
of his services, is my reluctance to put myself, even for a moment, in op- 
position to him. But his opinion on the Ossianic question, expressed in 
his letter, constrains me to oppose him. 

One word as to what he says about Jerome Stone's MS. Dr Laing 
kindly lent it to me, and it is now in my possession. I referred to it 
frequently in my edition of Ossian, 1870. Had I known that Mr Camp- 
bell wished to see it, I would gladly place it at his service. There is no 
mystification about this MS. ; and I am sorry to say that it will not turn 
the scale either way in the present controversy. 

But to the main point. Mr Campbell holds " that the Gaelic Ossian 
of 1807 is a manifest translation from English." Dr Johnson expressed 
the same opinion more than a hundred years ago ; but while Mr Campbell 
can speak with a thousandfold the authority of the great moralist, who 
knew nothing of Gaelic, yet even Mr Campbell submits no positive proofs 
to support his decision no new fact of any kind. As far as external 
evidence goes, he founds his opinion entirely on what is negative. JSTow, 
I submit that the history of the case presents many undoubted facts all 
going to prove the priority of the Gaelic to the English Ossian, and these 
facts must be disposed of before Mr Campbell's conclusions can be adopted. 

Let me say in one word that I do not for a moment pretend to solve 
the Ossianic mystery. Any theory which has yet been proposed presents 
serious difficulties, but I maintain that Mr Campbell's presents the great- 
est of all, and in the present state of our knowledge cannot be adopted. 

For proof, I must submit a brief outline of facts certified in the report 
of the Highland Society on the subject, and which, though they are un- 
deniable, are often unaccountably overlooked in the controversy. 

1. It is the case that Macpherson, before publishing in English, got 
several Gaelic MSS., which he acknowledged in his letters still extant, 
and which he showed to his friends ; further, that he asked and obtained 
the assistance of some of these friends Captain Morison, Eev. Mr Gallie, 
and, above all, Strathmashie to translate them into English. 


2. It is a most important fact that when challenged to produce his 
Gaelic MSS., he advertised that they were deposited at his booksellers 
Beckett & De Hondt, Strand, London and offered to publish them if a 
sufficient number of subscribers came forward. The booksellers certify 
that his MSS. had lain for twelve months at their place of business. 

3. It is a fact that several persons, well able to judge of the matter, 
and of unimpeachable character, such as the Rev. Dr Macpherson, of 
Sleat ; Rev. Mr Macleod, of Glenelg ; Rev. Mr Macneill, &c., &c., did, in 
1763 that is, 44 years before the publication of the Gaelic Ossiau com- 
pare Macpherson's English with Gaelic recited by various persons in their 
respective neighbourhoods. They give the names of these persons, and 
they certify that they found the Gaelic poetry recited by these, who never 
had any correspondence with Macpherson, to correspond in many instances 
to the extent of hundreds of lines with his English. One very 
significant fact is brought out in these certifications, that Gaelic was 
found to agree with Macpherson's English in cases where he never gave 
Gaelic. The English Ossian contains various poems for which he never 
gave Gaelic ; but here Gaelic, corresponding to his English, is found in 
the mouths of people with whom he never held any communication. 

Now, what are we to say to all these things 1 Shall we believe that 
Macpherson advertised his MSS. when he had none ? The belief implies 
that he was insane, which we know was not the case. And are we 
further to believe that such men as the above deliberately attested what 
they knew to be false, and what, if false, might easily be proved to be so t 
It is impossible for a moment to receive such a supposition. 

But it is said these, though good men, were prejudiced, spoke loosely, 
and therefore are not to be relied on in this enlightened and critical age. 
This, however, is assuming a great deal, and in so doing is Mwcritical. 
Prejudice is at work in the nineteenth century even as it was in the 
eighteenth. These men had far better opportunities of judging the matter 
than we have. They give their judgment distinctly and decidedly, and I 
never yet saw any good reason for setting that judgment aside. 

I must add further, on the historic evidence, that several Gaelic 
pieces, and these among the gems of Ossianic poetry, were published by 
Gillies in 1786; that some of these are found in the Irvine MS. about 
1800 ; that there is no proof of Macpherson having furnished any of 
these ; and that the genuineness of one of them, " The Sun Hymn," given 
seem to be beyond the possibility of cavil. 

From all this it appears to me undoubted that Macpherson began his 
work with Gaelic MSS., that he founded his English on them, and that 
various portions of his work were known in several quarters of the country 
fort y years before he published his Gaelic. The subsequent disappearance 
of all MSS. containing his Gaelic is very remarkable, and is much founded 
on by Mr Campbell. But the history of literature affords various instan- 
ces of the preservation of a book depending on one solitary MS. 
case of the great Niebelungen-Lied unknown for centuries, and I 
to light through the accidental discovery of a MS. is quite in point ; ai 
to come nearer home, two years ago, only one perfect copy of the tirst 
Gaelic book ever printed, Bishop CarewelTs translation of John Jinoxs 


liturgy, was in existence. It may be, then, that when Macpherson de- 
stroyed his Gaelic MSS. he destroyed all in which his poetry was to be 
found. Again, it is asked, when Highlanders in the present day recite so 
many heroic ballads, why do they not recite Macpherson's 1 I answer 
that there being now forgotten is no proof that they were never remem- 
bered. A hundred years may obliterate many things among a people. 
The last hundred years have wrought such obliterations in the Highlands 
of Scotland as to make it no cause of wonder that heroic poetry then re- 
membered should now be forgotten. 

I must restrict myself to a very few words on the internal evidence 
though it is on this the question must be finally decided, if it ever is to be 
decided. As to the inference from comparing the Gaelic and English, I 
am sorry to say that I am entirely at variance with Mr Campbell. The 
more I examine the subject, the deeper is my conviction that the freeness 
of the Gaelic, the fulness of its similes, and its general freshness incon- 
testably prove it to be the original. I would refer especially to the sea- 
pieces (e.g., Carhon, 11. 48-52.) In Gaelic they are vivid and graphic 
in English tame, and almost meaningless a fact such as might naturally 
be expected from the words of a true mariner being translated by a 
thoroughly " inland bred man " like Macpherson, but absolutely irrecon- 
cilable with his having written the Gaelic. Mr Campbell himself in his 
admirable work of the " West Highland Tales," vol. 4, p. 142, et seq., has 
some striking and conclusive remarks on the internal evidence of the 
priority of the Gaelic to the English ; and I sincerely hope, when he con- 
siders them again, they will induce him to return to his first faith. 

Much might be said on the structure of the Gaelic especially the 
Gaelic of the 7th Book of Temora, published by Macpherson in 1763, 
which differs widely from any other Gaelic that I have met with ; and 
much of the whole character of Ossian, whether Gaelic or English, being 
so absolutely unlike all Macpherson's other compositions many and well 
known ; but I must conclude by repeating that Mr Campbell's theory 
" makes confusion worse confounded " in asking us to set at nought the 
various facts which I have stated, demands a moral impossibility ; and 
that whatever light may be thrown on the subject from the new Celtic 
Chair, we must in the present state of our knowledge admit Gaelic to be 
the original, and Macpherson to be the translator of the Ossianic poems. 
I am, &c., 




THE name of Lachlan Macpherson, Esq. of Strathmashie, is well known 
to those who are conversant with the dissertations on the poems of Ossian. 
About the year 1760 he accompanied his neighbour and namesake, James 
Macpherson, Esq. of Belville, in his journey through the Highlands in 
search of those poems, he assisted him in collecting them, and in taking 
them down from oral tradition, and he transcribed by far the greater part 
of them from ancient manuscripts to prepare them for the press, as stated 
by himself in a letter to Dr Hugh Blair of Edinburgh. He was beyond 
all doubt a man of great powers of mind, and a Celtic poet of no mean 
order. He died at the comparatively early age of forty years, greatly 
lamented by his contemporaries, leaving behind him no written literary 

Fragments of Mr Lachlan Macpherson's poetry, hitherto unpublished, 
will be acceptable to those who have done so much of late to promote the 
interests of Celtic literature. In some of his poems, composed in the 
sportive exercise of his poetic genius, he makes the same objects the sub- 
jects of his praise and censure alternately. We give the following 
specimens : 

On the occasion of a marriage contract in his neighbourhood, the poet 
honoured the company with his presence. The important business of the 
occasion having been brought to a close, the bridegroom departed, but 
remembering that he had left on the table a bottle not quite empty, he 
returned and took it with him. The poet, viewing this as an act of ex- 
treme meanness, addressed the bridegroom as follows : 

'S toigh learn Ddmhnullach neo-chosdail 

nach coltach e ri each. 

'N uair bhios iadsan ag iarraitlh fortain 

Bidh esan 'n a phrop aig fear caia 

Ma bha do mhathair 'n a ranaoi chdir 

Cha do ghleidh i 'n leabaidh phdsda glan, 

Cha 'n 'eil cuid agad do Chlomn Dombnuill, 

'S Rothach no llosach am fear. 

'N uair a bhuail thu aig an uinneig 

Cha b' an a bhuinnigeadh cliu, 

Dh' iarraidh na druaip bha 's a' bhotml, 

Mallachd fir focail a' d' ghiur. 

We give a free translation of the above into English, far inferior, 
however, to the Gaelic original : 


1 like to see a niggard man, 

One of the great Macdonald clan ; 
When others are in quest of gain 
This man the needy will sustain. 
Your mother, if an honest dame, 
Has not retained her wedlock fame ; 
No part is Mac from top to toe, 
You're either Rose or else Munro. 
When to the house you turned your face, 
Let it be told to your disgrace, 
'Twas for the dregs you had forgot, 
The Poet's curse be in your throat. 


The "bridegroom, as we may well believe, smarted under the chastise- 
ment administered to him. He took an early opportunity of putting 
himself in the poet's way. Seeing Mr Macpherson riding past his place 
one day, he went to meet him with a bottle and glass, and importunately 
begged of him that he would have the goodness to say something now in 
his favour. Mr Macpherson complied with the request. Sitting on 
horseback, and taking the glass in his hand, he pronounced the ensuing 
eulogy on the bridegroom : 


Bha na baird riamh breugach, bdsdail, 
Beular sinn, gorach, gun seadh, 
Lasgair gasd e Chloinn Domhnuill, 
Mac Ailein Mhoir as a Mhagh. 
Chuir e botul neo-ghortach a' m' dhorn, 
A chur iotadh mo sgornain air chul, 
'S bard gun tur a bh' air a' chordadh 
Nacb do sheinn gu mor a chliu. 
Ach tha 'n seors' ud uile cho caillteach, 
Cho mi-tbaingeil, 's cbo beag ciall, 
'S ma thig a' chuach idir o 'n ceami, 
Nach fiach e taing na f buair iad riamh. 

The above may be thus translated : 

The bards, as we have ever seen, 
Liars and flatterers have been ; 
Boasting, with little cause to glory, 
So empty is their upper storey. 
Of Clan Macdonald this is one, 
Of Allan Mor of Moy the son ; 
He brought to me a sonsy vessel 
To satiate my thirsty whistle. 
The poet proved himself unwise 
When him he did not eulogise. 
The bards I own it with regret 
Are a pernicious sorry set, 
Whate'er they get is soon forgot, 
Unless you always wet their throat. 

Mr Macpherson had a dairymaid of the name of Flora, whom he 
described in abusive language in a poem beginning, 

Floiri mhugach, bhotach, ghlun-dubh. 

He afterwards made amends for the offence he had given her by com- 
mending her in very nattering terms. He represents her as a most use- 
ful dairymaid, and as a young woman of surpassing beauty, who had 
many admirers, and, according to his description of her, such were her 
good qualities, and her personal attractions, that certain persons whom 
he names, among others the clergyman of the parish, expressed their 
desire to engage her in their own service. The poet rejects their solicita- 
tions, and informs them how unlikely a thing it is that Flora should 
engage with them, as she was intended for the King: 

Floiri shugach, bhoidheach, shuil-ghorm, 

A pog mar ubhlan as a' gharadh, 

'N 6g bhean, chliuiteach 's cdmhpaird' giulan, 

Dh' olainn dubailt a deoch-slainte, 

Ge do shiubhail sibh 'n Koinn Eorpa, 

'S na duthchan mor' an taobh thall dith, 

Cha 'n f haiceadh sibh leithid Floiri, 

Cul bachlach, glan, dr-bhuidhe na ban-righ. 


Maighdean bheul-dearg, foill cha leir dh' i, 
'S geal a ileud o 'n ceutaich' guiru, 
Caoimbueil, buusach, trod neo bheumach, 
'S ro mhaith leigeadh spreitlh air iiiiidb, 
Clach-dbatha na b-Alba 's na h-Eiriun, 
Nach saltair air feur a h-iiicheadh, 
Mar dhealt na maidne 'n a h-eirigh, 
'S mar aiteal na groin a dealradh. 

A leadan dualucb sios m' a cluasaibh 
Chuir gu buaireadh fir a' bhiaighe, 
Fleasgaicb uaisl' a' sri mu 'n gbruagaich, 
'N ti tha 'gruaim ris 's truagb a cbaramh, 
Ach b' aiiiisa leath' cuman 'us buaracb, 
'S dol do 'n bbuaile mar chaidh h-arach, 
Langanaich cruidb-laoigb m' an cuairt di, 
'8 binne sud na u aisle chraiteach. 

'S gniomhach, cairdeil, b' f hearr dhomh radhainn, 
'S glan a h-abhaist, 's tearc a leithid, 
Muime shar-mhaith nan laogb aluiim, 
Im 'us caise tbeid sud leatha, 
Banarach f hortain ghabhaidh 
Nam miosairean Ian 's a" cheithe, 
Dheanadh i tuilleadh air caraid 
'S a phaidheadh dhomh inal Aonghuis Shaw. 

An t-ait' am faic sibh 'm bi gibbt araidh 
Suilcan chaich bidh 'n sin 'n an luidhe, 
Domhnull Ban o 'm mine Gailig 
Bhuin rium laidir as an athar ; 
Thuirt e, thoir dhomhs' i gu bealltuinn, 
Seall an t-earlas tha thu faighinn 
Uarn-sa, buannachd nan damh Gallda, 
No ma 's fearr leat na sin faidhir. 

Thuirt Domhnull Mac Bheathain 's e 's an eisdeachd, 
Naile, 's f heudar dhomh-sa lubhairt, 
'S mise 'n t-amadan thar cheud, 
A bheireadh cead dh' i 'n deigh a gabhail, 
Ach thoir-se nise dhomh fein i, 
'8 thcid ni 'us feudail a' d' lamhaibh, 
Gu 'n ruig a 's na tha tilgeadh reigh dhomh 
Ann am Bane Dhun-eidinn fathast. 

'N uair chual am Ministeir an t-sri 
A bha mu 'n rlomhaiun thall an amhaitin, 
Chuir e pior-bhuic 'us ad shlod' air, 
'S chaidh e direach orm a dh' f heitheamh, 
'S thuirt e, thoir dhomh-s' an ath thiom dhith, 
'S ni mi tri-fillte cho maith thu, 
'S ma shearmonHicheas tu fein do 'n sgireachd 
Gheibh thu 'n atipean 's bean-an-tighe. 

Ge prdiseil sibh le 'r n-or, 's le 'r ni, 
Le 'r moran stipein, 's le 'r cuid mhnathaibh, 
'S fearr learn Floiri agam f h&n 
Na ge do chit 'iad leis an amhainn, 
Dheanainn an cdrdadh cho simplidh 
'S i dhol cinnteach feadh nan tighean, 
Cia mar tba i coltach ribh-se ? 
'S gur h-e 'n righ tha dol g' a faighinn. 

The Mashie, a tributary of the Spey, in the parish of Laggan, runs 
close by Strathmashie house. It is a small river, but in harvest time, 
when in flood, it causes considerable damage. The poet takes occasion to 
censure the Mashie on this account ; but he has his pleasant associations 
in connection with the charming banks of this mountain stream, as ex- 
pressed in the following stanzas : 


Mhathaisith f hrogach dhubh, 
Fhrogach dlmbh, f hrogach dhubh, 
Mhathaisith f hrogach dhubh, 
'S mor rinn thu chall domh. 

Einn thu m' eorna a mhilleadh, 
'S mo clmid ghorag air sileadh, 
'Us cha d' f hag thu sguab tioram 
Do na chinnicli do bharr dhomh. 
Mhathaisith, &c. 

Cha robh lochan no caochan, 
A bha ruith leis an aonach, 
Nach do chruinnich an t-aon Ian 
A thoirt aon uair do shath dhuit. 
Mhathaisith, &c. 

Einn thu 61 an tigb. Bheathain 
Air leann 's uisge-btataa, 
'S garbh an tuilm sin a sgeith thu 
'S a' ghabhail-rathaid Di-mairt oirnn 
Mhaithaisith, &c. 

Mhathaisith bhMdheach gheal, 
Bhoidheach gheal, bhoidheach gheal, 
Mhathaisith bhoidheach gheal, 
B' ait learn bhi laimh riut. 

'N uair a rachainn a' m' shiubhal 
B' e sud mo cheann uidhe 
Na bh' air braigh Choir e-bhuidhe 
Agus ruigh Alt-na-ceardaich. 

Mhathaisith, &c. 

Gu 'm bu phailt bha mo bhuaile 
Do chrodh druim-fhion 'us guaill-f hionn, 
Mar sud 's mo chuid chuachag 
Dol niu 'n cuairt dhoibh 's an t-samhradh. 
Mhathaisith, &c. 



[IN this Column we shall, from month to month, notice the most important business 
coming before our Highland Representative Institutions such as the local Parliament 
of the Highland Capital, Gaelic and other Celtic Societies, and passing incidents likely 
to prove interesting to our Celtic readers. We make no pretence to give news ; simply 
comments on incidents, information regarding which will be obtained through the usual 

WE make no apology for referring to the doings of the Town Council of 
the Capital of the Highlands, Anything calculated to interest the High- 
lander is included in our published programme ; and surely the composi- 
tion, conduct, dignity, and patriotism of the local Parliament of the HIGH- 
LAND CAPITAL, and the general ability, eloquence, intelligence, and inde- 
pendence of spirit displayed by its members is of more than mere local 
interest. We take it that the Scottish Gael, wherever located, is inter- 
ested in the Capital of his native Highlands, and will naturally concern 
himself with the history and conduct of those whose duty it is as its lead- 
ing men to shine forth as an example to places of lesser importance. 


Last year a Gas and Water Bill was carried through Parliament, in- 
volving an expenditure of something like 80,000, and at least double 
taxation. We have no doubt whatever very good and satisfactory reasons 
will be given for this large expenditure, but hitherto not the slightest ex- 
planation has been vouchsafed to the public, and we are, in common with 
five-sixths o the community, at present quite ignorant of the reasons 
given for this enormous expenditure : that there must be unanswerable 
reasons we have no doubt whatever, for have not the Council been un- 
animous to a man throughout. Not a single protest was entered. Not a 
single speech was publicly made against it. But more wonderful still, 
not a single speech was made publicly in the Council in its favour. This 
did not arise from want of debating power on the part of the members. 
It must have arisen from the unanswerable nature of the arguments de- 
livered in private committees, where, practically, no one heard them, or of 
them, except the members themselves. The only objection which can be 
raised to this theory is, that if the matter is so very clear and simple, 
and the expenditure so imperatively called for, it is most wonderful that 
some ingenuous simple-minded member had not thought of making him- 
self popular at one bound, by giving a little information to the public as 
the matter proceeded, and so silence all the grumbling and general dis- 
satisfaction felt outside. 

THE Gaelic Society of Inverness entered on its fifth session last month. 
The Society has of late shown considerable signs of popularity and pro- 
gress ; for close upon fifty members have been added to the roll during the 
first eight months of the Society's year, while only eighteen were added 
during the whole of the previous one. In 1873, seventy new members 
were elected. The following five Clans are the best represented Mac- 
kenzies, 23 members; Erasers, 22; Mackays, 19; Macdonalds, 18; 
Mackintoshes, 14. This is not as it should be; for while the Mackays 
only occupy a little over a page of the Inverness Directory, the Mackin- 
toshes two, and the Mackenzies about three and a-half ; the Macdoualds 
occupy over four, and the Erasers seven pages. Wo would, like to 
see the Clans taking their proper places, by the " levelling-up" process of 

WE regret to announce the sudden death, on the 19th of August, of Dr 
Kermann Ebel, Professor of Comparative Philology at the University of 
Berlin. He superintended the new edition of Zeuss's Grammatics 
Celtica, and was one of the four or five leading Celtic scholars of tho age. 

IT will be seen that Logan's " Scottish Gael" a book now getting very 
scarce, and which was never, in consequence of its high price, within tho 
reach of a wide circle of readers is to be issued by Mr Hugh Mackenzie, 
Bank Lane, in 12 monthly parts at 2s each, Edited, with Memoir and 
Notes, by the Eev. Mr Stewart, " Nether-Lochaber." In this way the 
work will be much easier to get. It only requires to be known to secure 
the demand such an authority on tho Celt his language, literature, 
music, and ancient costume deserves. 



WE take the following from the late Dr Norman Macleod's " Reminis- 
cences of a Highland Parish" on Highlanders ashamed of their country. 
We believe the number to whom the paragraph is now applicable is more 
limited than when it first saw the light, but we could yet point to a few 
of this contemptible tribe, of whom better things might be expected. We 
wish the reader to emphasize every line and accept it as our own views 
regarding these treacle-beer would-be-genteel excrescences of our noble 
race. A wart or tumour sometimes disfigures the finest oak of the forest, 
and these so-called Highlanders are just the warts and tumours of the 
Celtic races they have their uses, no doubt : " One class sometimes 
found in society we would especially beseech to depart ; we mean High- 
landers ashamed of their country. Cockneys are bad enough, but they are 
sincere and honest in their idolatry of the Great Babylon. Young Oxo- 
nians or young barristers, even when they become slashing London critics, 
are more harmless than they themselves imagine, and after all inspire less 
awe than Ben-Nevis, or than the celebrated agriculturist who proposed to 
decompose that mountain with acids, and to scatter the debris as a ferti- 
liser over the Lochaber moss. But a Highlander born, who has been 
nurtured on oatmeal porridge and oatmeal cakes ; who in his youth wore 
home-spun cloth, and was innocent of shoes and stockings ; who blushed 
in his attempts to speak the English language ; who never saw a nobler 
building for years than the little kirk in the glen, and who owes all that 
makes him tolerable in society to the Celtic blood which flows in spite of 
him through his veins ; for this man to be proud of his English accent, 
to sneer at the everlasting hills, the old kirk and its simple worship, and 
despise the race which has never disgraced him faugh ! Peat reek is 
frankincense in comparison with him ; let him not be distracted by any 
of our reminiscences of the old country leave us, we beseech of thee !" 


Sweet Summer's scowling foe impatient 


On the horizon near of Nature's view. 
At the sad sight the sweetly-coloured lands 
Filled with the glowing woodlands' 

dying hue, 
For "Winter's darkening reign prepare the 

In the green garden the tall Autumn 


Filling with fragrant breath the beau- 
teous bowers, 

With resignation wait their dying day ; 
Bending their heads submissive to the 

Of Him, at whose command the sun 

stands still, 

Nor dares to send to earth his gladd'ning ray. 
Filled with the feeling of the coming 

Of Nature's beauteous deeds, the heavenly 


Hides its sad, shuddering face in cloudy 


A whispering silence overhangs the scene, 
As if awaiting the dark Winter storm 
That fills with fear Hope's slowly- 
withering form. 
Sinking to wintry death till, pure and 

Spring shall descend in song from sunny 

Smiling her into life. The sad wind 


Through flowerless woods, glowing to- 
wards their death, 
In Winter's cruel, poison - breathing 

Fierce grows the murmur of the woodland 


Foaming in fury thro' the pensive trees, 
Down the steep glen of the mist mantled 


Deeper the roar of death-presageful seas; 
While in the changeful woods the rivers 

Wandering for ever in a Winter dream ! 





and JF., 1873-74 and 1874-75 (Bound in, one,), 

THIS is the third publication issued by the Gaelic Society since its estab- 
lishment in 1871. The previous volumes were very creditable, especially 
the first, but the one now before us is out of sight superior not only in 
size, but in the quality of its contents. First we have an Introduction of 
eight pages giving the history of the movement in favour of establishing 
a Celtic Chair in one of our Scottish Universities, and the steps taken l.v 
the Gaelic Society of London, who appear to have worked single-handed 
to promote this object since 1835, when they presented their first petition 
to the House of Commons, down to 1870, when the Council of the Edin- 
burgh University took the matter in hand. In December 1869 the Gaelic 
Society of London sent out circulars addressed to ministers of all de- 
nominations in Scotland asking for information as to the number of 
churches in which Gaelic was preached. The circulars were returned, the 
result being " that out of 3395 places of worship of all denominations in 
Scotland, 461 had Gaelic services once-a-day in the following pr.> 
Established Church, 235 ; Free Church, 166 ; Catholic Chapels, 36 ; 
Baptists, 12; Episcopalians, 9; Congregationalists, 3." 

The first paper in the volume is a very interesting account, by Dp 
Charles Mackay, the poet, of " The Scotch in America." We give the 
following extract : 

I was invited to dine with a wealthy gentleman ot my own name. Them were pre- 
sent on that occasion 120 other Scotchmen, and most of them wore the Highland dress. 
My host had a piper behind the chair playing the old familiar strains of the pipes. I lie 

fentleman told me, in the course of the evening, that his father was a pot>r cottar in 
ulherlandshire. "My mother," said he, "was turned out upi>n the moor on a dark 
cold night, and upon that moor I was born." My friend's family afterwards went to 
America, and my friend became a " dry " merchant, or as you would say in Scotland, a 
draper. I said to him, seeing that his position had so improved, " Well, I suppose you 
do not bear any grudge against the people by whose agency your family were turned upon 
the moor." "No," he replied, " 1 cannot say that I bear them any grudge, but at the 
same time I cannot say that I forgive them. If my position has improved, it is by my 
own perseverance, and not by their good deeds or through their agency." In rv< iy great 
city of Canada Toronto, Kingstown, Montreal, New Brunswick, St John's, Nova Scotia, 
and in almost every town and village, you will find many Scotchmen ; in fact, in the 
large towns they are almost as numerous as in Edinburgh and Inverness. You will see 
a Highland name staring you in the face in any or every direction. If you ask for the 
principal merchant or principal banker, you will be almost sure to find that he's a 
Scotchman ; and no matter in what part of the world your fellow countrymen may be 
cast, they keep up the old manners and customs of their mother country. They never 
forget the good old limes of " Auld lang syne ; " tln-y never forget the old songs they 
sung, the old tunes they played, nor the old reels and dunces of .Scotland. 

The Scotch, especially in Canada, take the Gaelic with them. Thty have Gaelic 
newspupers, which have a large circulation larger, perhaps, than any G:u lie n. w.p.ip. r 
at home. They have Gaelic preachers. In fact, there is one part of which 
might be called the new Scotland ; and it is a Scotchman who is now at the head of the 
Canadian Government John Macdonald.* 

* Since the paper was written, the Hon. John Macdonald gave place to another 
Scottish Highlander, the Hon. Alex. Mackenzie, as Prime Minister of Canada. 


The next is a paper "by Archibald Farquharson, Tiree, headed " The 
Scotch at Home and Abroad," "but really a thrilling appeal in favour of 
teaching Gaelic in Highland Schools. It is impossible to give an idea of 
this excellent paper by quoting extracts. We, however, give the follow- 
ing on the teaching of Gaelic in the schools : 

Beading a language they do not understand has a very bad effect upon children. It 
leaves the mind indolent and lazy ; they do not put themselves to any trouble to en- 
deavour to ascertain the meaning of what they read ; whereas, were they taught to 
translate as they went along, whenever a word they did not understand presented itself 
to their minds, they would have no rest until they would master it by finding out its 
meaning. And I am pretty certain that were the Gaelic-speaking children thus to be 
taught, that by the time they would reach the age of fourteen years, they would be as 
far advanced, if not farther, than those who have no Gaelic at all ; so that, instead of the 
Gaelic being their misfortune, it would be the very reverse. It would, with the excep- 
tion of Welshmen (were they aware of it), place them on an eminence above any in Great 
Britain, not only as scholars, but as having the best languages for the soul and for the 
understanding. And should they enter college, they would actually leave others behind 
them, because, in the fii-st place, they acquired the habit of translating in their youth, 
which would make translating from dead languages comparatively easy ; and in the 
second place, they would derive great aid from their knowledge of the Gaelic. If Pro- 
fessor Blackie has found 500 Greek roots in the Gaelic, what aid would they derive from 
it in studying that language ? and they would find equally as much aid iu studying 
Latin, and even Hebrew. 

Comparing the melody of the English with that of the Gaelic, Mr Far- 
quharson says - 

Certainly, compared with Gaelic and Broad Scotch, it [English] has no melody. 
It is true that it may be set off and adorned with artificial melody. "What is the 
difference between natural and artificial melody ? Natural melody is the appropriate 
melody with which a piece is sung which has true melody inherent in itself, and artificial 
melody is that with which a piece is sung that is destitute of real melody. In the former 
case the mind is influenced by what is sung, the music giving additional force and power 
to it ; but in the latter case the mind is more influenced by the sound of the music than 
by what is sung. I may explain this by two young females ; the one has, I do not call 
it a bonny face, but a very agreeable expression of countenance ; the other has not. 
Were the former to be neatly and plainly dressed, her dress would give additional charms 
to her, but in looking at her you would not think of the dress at all, but of the charms 
of the young woman. But although the other were adorned in the highest style of 
fashion, with flowers and brocades, and chains of gold, and glittering jewels, in looking 
at her you would not think of the charms of the young woman, for charms she had none, 
your mind would be altogether occupied with what was artificial about her, with what 
did not belong to her, and not with what she was in herself. Both the natural and 
artificial melody elevate the mind, the one by what is sung, and the other by the grand 
sound of the music. There is real melody in " Scots wha hae," which is natural and 
appropriate, which gives additional power and force to the sentiment of the piece. In 
singing it the mind is not occupied with the sound, but with proud Edward, his chains 
and slavery Scotia's King and law the horrors of slavery the blessing of liberty, and 
a fixed determination to act. 

Df Masson's description of " The Gael in the Far West" is a very 
readable paper, and gives an interesting account of his tour among the 
Canadian Gael, where he says, " the very names of places were redolent 
of the heather in the land where, alas ! the tenderest care has never yet 
been able to make the heather grow Fingal, Glencoe, Lochiel, Glengarry, 
Inverness, Tobermory, St Kilda, lona, Lochaber, and the rest !" We part 
with this paper perfectly satisfied that whether or not the Gael and his 
language are to be extirpated among his own native hills neither the 
race nor the language will yet become extinct in our British Colonies. 

Sir Kenneth S. Mackenzie, Bart, of Gairloch, makes the following re- 
marks on " The Church in the Highlands." He said that if they wished 
to improve the Highlands 


There was no way in which it could be done better than by raising the class from which 
ministers were drawn. He remembered saying at the opening meeting of this Society, 
that one of its objects should be to excite the interest of the tipper classes in the language 
of their forefathers, inducing them to retain that language, or acquire it if lust. Be- 
cause, when the cultivated classes lost their interest in it, the leaven which leavens 
society ceased to influence the mass of the people ; and it was one of the most unfortun- 
ate things in regard to a dying language, when the upper classes lost the use of it, and 
the uneducated classes came to be in a worse condition than in an earlier state of civili- 
sation, when there was an element of refinement among them. It was an understood 
fact, that the clergy at this moment had a great influence in the Highlands ; and although 
there were persons present of different persuasions, he thought they would all admit 
that the Free Church was the Church that influenced the great mass of Highlanders. 
There were Catholics in Mar, Lochaber, the Long Island, and Strathglass, and Episco- 
palians in Appin ; but the people generally belonged to the Free Church, and if they 
wanted to influence the mass, it was through the clergy of the Free Church they could 
do it. Now, it was an unfortunate thing, and generally admitted, that the clergy of the 
Free Church he believed it was the same in the Established Church were not rising in 
intellect and social rank that there was rather a falling off in that that the clergy were 
drawn not so much from the manse as from the cottar's house ; and though he knew a 
number of clergy, very excellent, godly men, and very superior, considering the station 
from which they had risen, he thought it was not advantageous, as a rule, to draw the 
clergy from the lower, uneducated classes. They did not start with that advantage in 
life which their sons would start with. There had been a talk of instituting bursaries 
for the advancement of Gaelic-speaking students. He did not see why they should not 
start a bursary or have a special subscription he would himself contribute to it a 
bursary for theological students sprung from parents of education whose parents had 
been ministers, or who themselves had taken a degree in arts. That would tend to en- 
courage the introduction of a superior class of clergymen. He wished to say nothing 
against the present ministers. He knew they were excellent men, but he thought their 
sons would be, in many cases, superior to themselves if they took to the ministry. He 
was sorry they did not take to it more frequently, and he would be glad if this Society 
offered them some encouragement. 

Two learned papers appear from the Eev. John Macpherson, Lairg, 
and Dr M'Lauchlan, Edinburgh the one on "The Origin of the Indo- 
European Languages," and the other" Notices of Brittany." Space will 
not now allow us to give extracts long enough to give any idea of the value 
and interest of these papers, or of the one immediately following a 
metrical translation into English of " Dan an Deirg" by Lachlan Mac- 
bean, Inverness. We shall return to them in a future number. 

The Eev. A. C. Sutherland gives one of the best written and most in- 
teresting papers in the volume on the " Poetry of Dugald Buchanan, the 
Eannach Bard." The following is a specimen of Mr Sutherland's 
treatment of the poet, and of his own agreeable style : 

At the time when the great English critic was oracularly declaring that the verities 
of religion were incapable of poetic treatment, there was a simple Highlander, quietly 
composing poems, which, of themselves, would have upset the strange view, o! 
sufficiently absurd. But in all justice, we must say that many, very many, bo 
Gaelic and English poets, who have attempted to embody religious sentiments in poe 
forms, have, by their weak efforts, exposed themselves, unarmed, to the attacks o 
who would exclude religion from the sphere of the imagination. All good poetry, in 
highest sense, deals with, and appeals to, what is universal and common to 

1PHUB UOLHi KOucraJ.iV | ur wnenici ii/ nisj'uv* ' ^ . .-. ... 

festations of the religious life among us, this is not the time to inquire. On 

are sure of, that a representative religious teacher like Buchanan never allo 

fulness of inward life can dispense with the duties of every-day life with & 

industry, generosity, self-control. The unworthy man who is excluded from th 

is not the man of blunt, homely feeling, incapable of ecstatic rapture and exalted c 

tion, but the man who locks up for himself the gold God 8^" hl * ^K 8 ! ( 

who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor, who entrenches hu> heart behind a cold mhu- 


inanity, who permits the naked to shiver unclothed, who lessens not his increasing flock 
by a single kid to satisfy the orphan's want. Indeed, one who reads carefully Buchanan's 
Day of Judgment, with his mind full of the prejudices or truths regarding the place of 
honour given by the Celt to inward experience and minute self-analysis, cannot fail to 
be astonished how small a place these occupy in that great poem. There, at least, 
mental experience is of no value, except in so far as it blossoms into truth, purity, and 
love. We cannot, however, pause to illustrate these statements in detail. "VVe shall 
merely refer to the indignation into which the muse of Buchanan is stirred in the pres- 
ence of pride and oppression. The lowest deep is reserved for these. The poet's charity 
for men in general becomes the sublime growl of a lion as it confronts the chief who fleeces 
but tends not his people. 

" An robh thu ro chruaidh, 

A' feannadh do thuatb, 
'S a' tanach an gruaidh le mal ; 

Le h-agartas geur, 

A glacadh an spreidh, 
'S am bochdainn ag eigheach dail ? 

Gun chridhe aig na daoine, 

Bha air lomadh le h-aois, 
Le 'n claigeannan maola truagh ; 

Bhi seasamh a' d' choir, 

Gun bhoineid 'nan ddrn, 
Ge d' tholladh gaoth reota an cluas. 

Thu nise do thraill, 

Gun urram a' d' dhail, 
Gun ghearsonn, gun mhal, gun mhod : 

Mor mholadh do'n bhas, 

A chasgair thu tni, 

'S nach d' f hulling do straicfo'n fhdid." 

"VVe part with this paper with an interest in Buchanan's Poems which 
we never before felt, although we repeatedly read them. 

A well written paper, in Gaelic, by John Macdonald, Inland Revenue, 
Lanark, brings the session of 1873-74 to an end. Mr Macdonald advo- 
cates the adoption of one recognised system of orthography in writing 
Gaelic, and concludes in favour of that of the Gaelic Bible, as being not 
only the best and purest, but also the best known. 

In the second part of the volume 1874-75 are Professor Blackie's 
famous address, under the auspices of the Society, his first in favour of a 
Celtic Professor; "The Black Watch Deserters" by Alex. Mackintosh Shaw, 
London ; " History of the Gaelic Church of Inverness, by Alex. Fraser, 
accountant ; " Ancient Unpublished Gaelic Poetry," ' The Prophecies of 
Coinneach Odar Fiosaiche, the Brahan Seer," by Alex. Mackenzie, Secre- 
tary to the Society ; and other interesting matter. "We shall notice these 
in our next number. This valuable volume is given free to all Members 
of the Society, besides free Admission to all Lectures and Meetings, while 
the Annual Subscription for Ordinary Membership is only 5s. 

" The Kenlochewe Bard.'" Written verbatim from the Bard's own Recitation, and 
Edited, with an Introduction in English, by Alexander Mackenzie, Secretary to the 
Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

WE have before us part first of the above Songs and Poems, containing 
thirteen pieces, and consisting of 36 pp., crown 8vo, with an Introduc- 
tion. We have not met with anything to equal them in our language for 
pith, spirit, and poetic genius, since the days of Rob Donn ; and we trust 


the bard will receive the encouragement he so well deserves with the first 
part, so as to enable him to give us the second on an early date. I hero 
is a short introduction to each piece, which gives them an additional in- 
terest. We notice a few unimportant editorial errors which we know Mr 
Mackenzie would be the first to admit and correct. The following three 
verses are from " Moladh na Gailig" air fonn Cabar-feidh, and is a fair 
specimen, although by no means the best in the book : 

Si Ghailig cainnt as aosda 

TV aig daoine air an talamh so, 

Tha buaidh aic' air an t-saoghal 

Nach f haodar a bhreithueachadh, 

Cha teid i chaoidh air dhi-chuimhn', 

Cha chaochail 's cha chaidil i, 

'S cha teid srian na taod innt' 

A dh' aindeon taubh dha 'n tachair i, 

Tha miltean feairt, le cliu, 's le tbichd, 

Dha cumail ceart neo-mhearachdacb, 

'S i treun a neart, le briathran pailt, 

Cha chrion, 's cha chaitb, 's cha theirig i, 

Tha cuimhne 'us beachd na lorg, 's na taic, 

'S cha n-iarr i facal leasaichidh. 

An am sinn na sailm gur biun a toirm 

Seach ceol a dhealbh na h-Eidailticb. 

Tha fianaisean na Gailig 

Cho laidir 's cho maireannach 

'S nach urrainn daoine a h aicheadb, 

Tha seaun ghnas a leantuinn ri. 

Tha ciall 'us tuigse nadur, 

Gach la deauamh soilleir dhuinn, 

Gur i bm chainnt aig Adhamh 

Sa gharadh, 's an deighe sin. 

Gur i bh' aig Noah, an duine coir, 

A ghleidh, nuair dhoiit an tuil, dhuinn i, 

'S mhair i fos troimh iomadh seors', 

'S gun deach a seoladh thugainne, 

Do thir nam beann, nan stra, 's nan glcann, 

Nan loch, 's na'n allt, 's na'n struthanan, 

'S ge lionmhor fine fuidh na ghrein, 

Se tir an f heilidh thuigeadh i. 

Tha 'n t'urram aig an f heileadh 

Seach eideadh as aithne dhuinn, 

'S na daoine tha toir speis dha 

Gur h-eudmhor na ceatharnaich. 

A' cumail cuimhn air euchdan, 

As treuntas an aithrichean, 

A ghleidh troimh iomadh teimbeil, 

A suainteas f hein, gun denlachadh. 

Oh ! 's iomadh cruadal, cath, 'us tuasaid, 

'S baiteal cruaidh a choinnich iad ; 

'S bu trice bhuaidh aca na ruaig, 

Tha sgeula bhuau ud comliarricht. 

'S bu chaomh leo fuaim piob-mhor ri n cluais 

Dha 'n cuir air ghluasad togurrach, 

Sa dh-aindeon claidheamb, sleagh, aa tuadb, 

Cha chuireadh uamhas eagal orr. 


THE Promoters of this Magazine will spare no effort to make it worthy of the support 
of the Celt throughout the World. It will be devoted to Celtic subjects generally, 
and not merely to questions affecting the Scottish Highlands. It will afford Biogra- 
phies of Eminent Highlanders at home and abroad Reviews of all Books on subjects 
interesting to the Celtic Races their Literature, questions affecting the Land Hypo- 
thec, Entail, Tenant-right, Sport, Reclamation Emigration, and all questions affecting 
Landlords, Tenants, and Commerce of the Highlands. On all these questions both sides 
will be allowed to present their case, the only conditions being that the articles be well 
and temperately written. Care will always be taken that no one side of a question will 
obtain undue prominence facts and arguments on both sides being allowed to work 

The Promoters believe that, under the wiser and more enlightened management now 
developing itself, there is room enough in the Highlands for more Men, more Land under 
cultivation, and more Sheep, without any diminution of Sport in Grouse or Deer. 
That there is room enough for all for more gallant defenders of our country in time of 
need, more produce, more comfort, and more intelligence ; and the Conductors will af- 
ford a medium for giving expression to these views. In order the more successfully to 
interest the general reader in Celtic questions, the Magazine will be written in English, 
with the exception of contributions concerning Antiquities and Folk-lore, which may 
require the native language, It is intended, as soon as arrangements can be made, to 
have a Serial Highland Story appearing from month to month. 

The following have among others already forwarded or promised contributions : The 
Rev. GEORGE GILFILLAN on "Macaulay's Treatment of Ossian" ; The Very Rev. ULICK 
J. CANON BOURKE, M.R.I. A., President of St Jarlath's College, Tuam, on "The Re- 
lationship of the Keltic and Latin Races"; CHARLES FRASER-^IACKINTOSH, Esq., M.P., 
on "Forestry or Tree -planting in the Highlands"; The " NETHER-LOCHABER" CORRE- 
SPONDENT of the Inverness Courier, on " Highland Folk-lore" ; The Rev. JOHN MAC- 
PHERSON, Lairg, "Old Unpublished Gaelic Songs, with Notes"; Professor BLACKIE, a 
Translation of "Maiildh Laghach" ; Principal SHAIRP, St Andrews, on " Subjects con- 
nected with Highland Poetry, and the Poetic Aspects of the Highlands" ; ALEXANDER 
MACKENZIE, Secretary of the Gaelic Society, "Coinneach Odtiar Fiosaiche the Brahan 
Seer's Prophecies" ; " The Traditional History of how the Mackenzies came into possession 
of Gairloch, and drove out the Macleods" ; " Latha na Luinge" ; "Freiceadan a Choire 
Dhuibh" ; "Latha Lochau Neatha," and other West Highland Folk-lore and Unpub- 
lished Gaelic Poetry ; ALEX. FRASER, Accountant, Inverness, "Curiosities from the Old 
Burgh Records of Inverness; The Rev. A. SINCLAIR, Kenmore, on "The Authenticity 
of Ossian"; WM. ALLAN, Sunderland, author of '' Heather Bells," " Hame-Spun Lilts," 
and other Poems; Rev. ALEX. MACGREGOH, M.A., Inverness, "Old Highland Re- 
miniscenses" ; The KENLOCHEWE BARD, an Original Gaelic Poem every month. 
Contributions are also promised from Dr CHARLES MACKAY, the poet ; Dr THOMAS 
M'LAUCHLAN, Sheriff NICOLSON, WM. JOLLY, H.M.'s Inspector of Schools; ARCHIBALD 
FARQUHARSON, Tiree, on "The Songs and Music of the Highlands" ; H. GAIDOZ, editor 
of the Revue Celtique, Paris; The Rev. WALTER M'GILLIVRAY, D.D., Aberdeen; The 
Rev. A. C. SUTHERLAND, Strathbraan ; KENNETH MURRAY, Esq. of Geanies ; JOHN 
CAMERON MACPHEE, President of the Gaelic Society of London ; Rev. J. W. WRIGHT, 
Inverness ; and other well-known writers on Celtic subjects, Traditions, and Folk-lore. 

Published monthly, at 6d a-month, or 6/ per annum in advance', per Post, 6/6. 
Credit, 8/ ; per Post, 8/6. 

All business communications to be addressed to the undersigned ALEX. MACKENZIE. 

57 Church Street, Inverness, 
September 1875. 



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Advertisements and Bills require to be sent to 57 Church Street, Inverness, by the 15th of 

each month at latest. 


No. II. DECEMBER 1875. 


IN controver-sy about Ossian, the man on the affirmative side has an 
immeasurable advantage over all others ; and, with an average practical 
acquaintance with the subject, may exhaust any antagonist. The contents, 
the connection, and the details ; the origin, the tradition, the translation ; 
the poetry, the sentiment, the style; the history, the characters, the 
dramatis personce ; the aspects of nature represented, the customs and 
manners of the people ; the conflicting nationalities introduced, the event- 
ful issues, the romantic incidents ; the probable scenes, the subsequent 
changes; the philosophy and the facts, and multiplied revelations of 
humanity all these, and many more such themes inseparably connected 
with Ossian, if a man rightly understands and believes in them, would 
enable him to maintain his position in actual controversy, with integrity 
and ease, for a twelvemonth. The man, on the other hand, who does not 
believe in the authenticity of Ossian must forego all these advantages in 
succession, and will reduce himself to straits in an hour. He dare not 
expatiate or admire, or love, or eulogise, cr trust, or credit, or contemplate, or 
sympathise with anything ; or admit a fact, or listen to a word, < 
at an argument, on the peril of immediate discomfiture. He must simply 
shut the book. His only stronghold is denial; his sole logic is assertion; 
his best rhetoric is abuse ; his ultima ratio is to create distrust, and to 
involve both himself and everybody else in confusion. Genius, for 
example, he declares without hesitation to be trickery; poetry to be 
bombast ; pathos, monotonous moaning ; the tenderest human love to bo 
sham; the most interesting natural incidents, contemptible inventions; 
the plainest statistical information, a deliberate act of theft ; the subhm- 
est conceptions of human character, a fudge ; the details of human hist 
for three hundred years, a melodramatic, incredible lictiun; and wtt 
cannot now be found anywhere else recorded, a dream; ace 
coincidence he speaks of as detected dishonesty ; imaginary resembli 
as guilty adaptation; a style suitable to the subject, 
occasional inspiration he caUs a lie ; translation, a forgery ; nd t 
if not a " magnificent mystification," then, in Procurator-* 
" wilful falsehood, fraud, and imposition." But all this, Wlttwu 
and nothing like proof is ever advanced may be said in an hour, ai 
argument would remain as it is. Such, in point of fact, has been tne 



sum total of assault, reiterated by every new antagonist with increasing 
boldness for a century, till reasonable readers have become callous to it, 
and only ignorant or prejudiced listeners are impressed. To be " hope- 
lessly convinced " by it, is perhaps the latest phase of incredulity ; to be 
edified or enlightened by it is impossible. 

. But, besides the advantage of being able to speak with freedom of an 
author like Ossian, from any natural point of view, an almost infinitely 
higher advantage still is to be obtained by actually verifying Ms text ; by 
realising his descriptions, ascertaining his alleged facts, and localising the 
scenes of his narrative. Whatever is truly grand in Ossian may thus be 
identified with nature, if it has a counterpart there ; and what seems only 
an imaginary outline at first may be filled up and fixed for ever as among 
her own still extant properties. A new sense, coherent and intelligible, 
may thus be imparted to the most familiar figures ; and not an allusion to 
earth or sky, to rock or river, will be lost after such a process. Nay, a 
certain philosophic significance, amounting to scientific revelation, may be 
honestly associated with some of his loftiest figures ; and what the 
translator himself apologises for as extravagant, may be thus converted 
into dreamful intuitions of hidden fact and poetic forecasting of future 
discoveries. Mr Arnold, in his Celtic Literature, seems to glance at such 
a capacity in Celtic man lf His sensibility gives him a peculiarly near and 
intimate feeling of nature, and the life of nature ; here, too, he seems in a 
special way attracted by the secret before him, the secret of natural beauty 
and natural magic, and to be close to it, to half-divine it," p. 108. But 
Mr Arnold does not seem to include in this capacity the intuitions of 
natural science, at least not for Ossian ; yet nothing can be more certain 
than that Ossian and his fellow-countrymen enjoyed them. 

That verification to such an extent, however, both of facts .and 
localities, and ideas philosophic or imaginative, in the text of Ossian, 
was possible, has scarcely hitherto been believed by any one ; it has 
certainly never been attempted. A sort of vagueness ir> many of his 
descriptions ill-understood, and a similarity in poetic figures that might be 
indiscriminately applied ; and an occasional apparent conflict or confusion 
of details seem to have deterred almost all readers from the study we now 
recommend. But all these difficulties, of verification and interpretation 
alike, are only on the surface ; and not even there, if it has been looked 
at attentively. Let any intelligent reader, with the poems which refer to 
Scotland in his hand, survey the Clyde, the Kelvin, and the Carron, and 
trace the still remaining footsteps of nature and of civilization through 
distant centuries on their banks, and he will see that Ossian has been 
there. Let him look steadily even at the cloud-drifts from the Atlantic, 
as they troop or roll along in a thousand fantastic forms, converging all to 
a certain inland range, and he will understand that the author of these 
poems must have seen and studied them so. Let him proceed 
then to Aryan, and he will discover there, if he looks and listens, 
not only scenes and traditions, and monuments of sepulture, still associated 
with the names of Oscar and Malvina, Fingal and Ossian in literal con- 
firmation of what has been stated in the text concerning them ; but the 
only reliable account, by survey and tradition also, of the Fingalian 


expeditions from Morven to Ireland. Let him \hen, by direct communi- 
cation, which is occasionally possible from Arran ; or by any circuit he 
pleases, disembark in the Bay of Larne " with its bosom of echoing woods," 
as Fingal himself must have done ; and there, with Fingul arid Temora 
in hand, let him survey the entire region between Larne and Belfast. Let 
him march with his eyes open by the pass of Glenoe, and try to ascend 
it on the old track by the " narrow way at the stream of the battle of 
thousands," round the double-headed rock there by moonlight, or in the 
misty dawn ; and before attempting this, let him look carefully around 
among the limestone cliffs for any other reasonable opening ; and if he 
does not begin to suspect, at least, that it was here Cuchullin stood, and 
Calmar fell, against the invading Norse, he must be "hopelessly convinced" 
to the contrary, indeed. Onwards let him prosecute his journey, looking 
backwards occasionally to the sea, where the ships of Fingal should be 
appearing onwards among marshy Lenas, open Straths, half cultivated 
Heaths with an occasional monolith among the enclosures, testifying to 
what has once been done there ; onwards, with his eye now to the ridges 
on the left on one of which, below Carneal or thereabouts, the head- 
quarters of Fingal must have been before the campaigns began onwards 
until he touches the source of the Six-Mile-Water above Balynure ; and 
there, looking steadily westward down the strath where the river winds, 
let him recall the very words of the text in his hand " Nor settled from 
the storm is Erin's sea of war ; they glitter beneath the moon, and, low- 
humming, still roll on the field. Alone are the steps of Cathmor, before 
them on the heath; he hangs forward with all his arms on Morven's 
flying host. . . . They who were terrible were removed : Lubar 
winds again in then- host " : and then ask himself deliberately if the 
whole scene, with the relative changes of position in the contending 
armies, the retreat of the one that had been advancing, the pursuit of the 
other that had been retreating, the recrossing of the stream by both over 
some of its hundred links, and the temporary pause of battle in that 
valley, with hosts on either side of the river which now flowed through 
the ranks of one of them, whilst the other was in retreat up the ridge- 
could have been more truly described by poet or geographer than it has 
been in these few words of Ossian? Onward let him proceed, if ho 
pleases, by Ballynure and Ballyclare to Lough Neagh ; or let him Muni 
again across the valley to the north, in a line at right angles to th> 
between Larne and Connor. But before he moves from the spot let him 
glance round for a moment to the south, in the direction of Carrickfergus 
" where a valley spreads green behind the hill [literally spreads] with 
its three blue streams. The sun is there in silence; [that touch is 
wonderful no war, as yet, is there] and the dun mountain rocs come 
down." Let him search there at leisure, if he pleases, and he will find 
the stream of the Noisy Vale, where poor Sulmalla saw the vision ,,f 
< 'utlmior's ghost, and "the lake of roes," where Lady Morna di. 
Loch Mourne, a little farther east on the mountain. But \i 
be inconvenient, then by a step or two forward to the top of the ndge on 
the right lie will come in view of the northern branch of the Six Mil 
AVater ; and now let him steadily consider what he sees. From t 
west before him, lies the Drumadarragh, range ; between himself and which 


lies the valley of the Deer Park, intersected by the river, whereabouts, 
in. all probability, the assassination of Oscar took place. Beyond the ridge 
and through the pass just visible, rises the Glenwherry "Water ; near the 
head of which, as has been fully explained, both in " Ossian and the Clyde " 
and elsewhere, should be found a cave in some rocky cliff, with oaks, or the 
remains of oaks, before it ; whilst the river, in its sheltered course or 
Cluna, glides below. " Crommal, with woody rocks and misty top, the 
field of winds, pours forth to the light blue Lxibar's streamy roar. Behind 
it rolls clear-winding Lavath, in the still vale of deer. A cave is dark in 
a rock ; above it strong-winged eagles dwell ; broad-headed oaks before it, 
sound in Cluca's wind. Within, in his locks ot youth, is Ferad-Artbo, 
blue-eyed king, the son of broad-shielded Cairbar, from Ullin of the roes. 
He listens to the voice of Condan, as grey he bends in feeble light. He 
listens, for his foes dwell in the echoing halls of Temora. He comes at 
times abroad, in the skirts of mist, to pierce the bounding roes. When 
the sun looks on the field, nor by the rock nor stream is he ! He shuns 
the race of Bolga, who dwell in his father's liall." Let him march then 
to Ferad-Artho's hiding place, across the intervening valley taking 
leisurely note, as he goes, of every monolith or cairn on his track ; and 
either up the face of the hill, or through the pass on his right, where the 
high road now runs, and so on to the hamlet of Maghgerabane ; above 
which, on the Skerry a gloomy, low-browed, basaltic precipice before 
him like a dark porch or portico, in the very face of the rock, halfway 
up, he will descry the cave in question. He should now cross the Glen- 
wherry at the village, in its grassy gorge, and draw nearer to the portico 
on the hillside beyond it, keeping a steady look-out for the roots of oaks, 
for they are still to be discovered there, as he ascends the cliff. Three of 
them in a row, about twenty feet below the cave, but directly in front 
of it, although now overwhelmed with ruins, still send up shoots ; and 
two more, a little farther up to the west of it, are equally conspicuous. 
He will find the cave itself half-ruined already, by the continual fall of 
basaltic masses from the mountain ; and in attempting to scale the rock 
at the door of the cave, he should be as circumspect as possible, lest a 
worst thing than the breaking of a bone befals him. He need not, how- 
ever, be afraid of " strong-winged eagles," for they are gone ; nor need he 
look for " bounding roes " in the valley, for they are probably exter- 
minated but he may still look westward on one of the sweetest and 
stillest vales in the bounds of the Island ; and when he remembers that 
he is now within a few miles of Connor, which is the Temora of Ossian, 
he will have no difficulty in understanding how Ferad-Artho was brought 
for shelter and for safety to the cave just above him ; or how easily the 
boy-king could be discovered there by his friends in Fingal's camp to the 
south, who knew exactly where to find him. Such explorations are but 
the one-half of what may still be made from the text of Ossian, in this 
very region ; but these will occupy at least three days of a week in 
summer, and are long enough for present detail in the columns of the 
Celtic. There are other regions however, far beyond Ireland, not so 
accessible to ordinary tourists, which may be examined nevertheless, with 
equal certainty by geological survey and geographical report ; and to 
these, on some future occasion, we may take an opportunity of directing 


In the meantime, by way of "bringing our present argument to a point, 
would the reader "believe that Macpherson, by whose text alone hitherto 
we have been guided, was himself more ignorant of these very scenes than 
a school boy ; that he never, in fact, saAV them, and did not know where, 
in Scotland or in Ireland, they were to be found ? Yet such is the case. 
Of the Clyde, of which he could not help knowing something, he knew 
nevertheless very little yet not much less than some of our modern 
geologists ; but of localities on the Clyde, or between the Forth and the 
Clyde, as described in Ossian, he knew nothing. The Kelvin, in like 
manner, as an Ossianic river, was utterly unknown to him ; he does not 
even attempt to translate its name. All that pertains to Arran, and still 
so distinctly traceable there by the help of his own text in Berrathon 
for which Gaelic no longer exists he transfers in his ignorance to the 
wilds of Morven. As for Ireland, all that he knows, or seems to know, 
is that Ullin is Ulster ; but the very scenes which are most conspicuous 
in Ulster he transfers tcrLeinster from Antrim, for example, to Meath ; 
and the rest to some undistinguishable point between Londonderry and 
Armagh. He brings Sulmalla and her forefathers from Wales instead of 
Wigtonshire, into Wicklow instead of Ardglass; and he lands both Swarau 
and Cuchullin and Fingal in Lough Foyle apparently, instead of in the 
Bay of Larne or Belfast ? In such circumstances, of what use is it for 
critics any longer to go on squabbling over Gaelic editions, collecting and 
collating mediaeval Gaelic ballads, and asserting with hopeless fatuity that 
he was the author of these poems, or that he stole them from the Irish? 
The Irish themselves are as ignorant of the subject as he is ; and yet in 
spite of all this ignorance on his part and theirs, the text of his translation 
has received on every page of it the unequivocal countersign of Nature, 
which can neither be forged nor forfeited. Taking all which into account, 
does it not now begin to be plain to unprejudiced readers that the whole 
of this Ossianic controversy has been hitherto on wrong ground ; and that 
if the truth of it is to be arrived at, at all, it must be remove 1 
from questionable MSS. and mediaeval ballads, to 1 
the domain of reality ? We do not assert that the sort of fact < now a. 
by us, and elsewhere systematised and elaborated, an- the only t. 
the only kind of facts to be considered in such a controv- 
assert that their importance is supreme, and that they have never h 
been admitted in the controversy. It is to facts bowerer, and 
like these, that the attention of Ossianic student 
directed; and at every step, if we are not greatly decew 
multiply and reiterate their testimony in so decided a ia>hion, tl 
be impossible for any critic, or for any collector in the world, U 
or dispose of them. All farther serious controversy on t 
short, is destined to be of this character common-sense and pra 
the sooner we prepare ourselves, as honest enquirers t< 
this fashion and in this spirit, the better. 




WE are in a west coast village or township, cut off from all communication 
with the outer world, without Steamers, Railways, or even Roads. We 
grow our own corn, and produce our beef, our mutton, our butter, our cheese, 
and our wool. We do our own carding, our spining, and our weaving. 
We marry and are taken in marriage by, and among, our own kith and 
kin. In short, we are almost entirely independent of the more civilized 
and more favoured south. The few articles we do not produce 
tobacco and tea, our local merchant, the only one in a district about 
forty square miles in extent, carries on his back, once a month or 
so, from the Capital of the Highlands. We occasionally indulge in a 
little whisky at Christmas and the New Year, at our weddings and our balls. 
We make it too, and we make it well. The Salmon Fishery Acts are, as 
yet, not strictly enforced, and we can occasionally shoot sometimes even 
in our gardens and carry home, without fear of serious molestation, the 
monarch of the forest. We are not overworked. We live plainly but 
well, on fresh fish, potatoes and herring, porridge and milk, beef and 
mutton, eggs, butter, and cheese. Modern pickles and spices are as 
unknown as they are unnecessary. True, our houses are built not 
according to the most modern principles of architecture. They are, in 
most cases, built of undressed stone and moss (coinneacli), thatched 
with turf or divots, generally covered over with straw or ferns held on 
by a covering of old herring nets, straw, and rope, or siaman. 

The houses are usually divided into three apartments one door in 
the byre end leading to the whole. Immediately we enter we find our- 
selves among the cattle. A stone wall, or sometimes a partition of clay 
and straw separates the byre from the kitchen. Another partition, 
usually of a more elegant description, separates the latter from the 
Culaist or sleeping apartment. In the centre of the kitchen a pavement 
of three or four feet in diameter is laid, slightly raised towards the 
middle, on which is placed the peat fire. The smoke, by a kind of 
instinct peculiar to peat smoke, finds its way to a hole in the roof 
called the falas, and makes its escape. The fire in the centre of the 
room was almost a necessity of the good old Ceilidh days. When the 
people congregated in the evening, the circle could be extended to the full 
capacity of the room, and occasionally it became necessary to have a circle 
within a circle. A few extra peats on the fire would, at any time, by the 
additional heat produced, cause an extension of the circle, and at the 
same time send its warming influences to the utmost recesses of the apart- 
ment. The circle became extended by merely pushing back the seats, 
and this arrangement became absolutely necessary in the houses which 
were most celebrated as the great Ceilidh centres of the district. 

The Ceilidh rendezvous is the house in which all the Folk-lore of the 
country, all the old sgeulaclulan or stories, the ancient poetry known 


to the bards or Seanachaidfiean, and old riddles and proverbs are 
recited from night to night by old and young. All who took an ii 
in such questions congregated in the evening in these centres of song and 
story. They were also great centres of local industry. Net-makiit 
the staple occupation, at which the younger members of the circle had to 
take a spell in turn. Five or six nets were attached in different corners 
of the apartment to a chair, a bedstead or post set up for the purpose, 
and an equal number of young gossippers nimbly plied their fingers at 
the rate of a pound of yarn a day. Thus, a large number of nets were 
turned out during the winter months, the proceeds of which, when the 
nets were not made for the members of the household, went to pay for 
tobacco and other luxuries for the older and most necessitous members of 
the circle. 

With these preliminary remarks we shall now introduce the readers of 
the Celtic Magazine to the most famous Ceilidh house in the district, and 
ask them to follow us from month to month while we introduce the prin- 
cipal members of the celebrated circle. We shall make each re-appear in 
these pages to repeat their old stories, recite old poems, never .published 
elsewhere, propound riddles, and in this way we shall be able to lay 
before our readers a vast amount of the legends, clan feuds, and 
traditional family history, connected with the Highlands, a large 
amount of unpublished poetry, duans, riddles, proverbs, and Highland 
customs. It will be necessary to give a great part in the original Gaelic, 
especially the poetry ; but translations of the legends, riddles, and 
proverbs, will be given when convenient. 

The house is such as we have above described. The good-man is 
bordering upon five-score. He is a bard of no mean order, often delight- 
ing his circle of admiring friends with his own compositions, as well as 
with those of Ossian and other ancient bards. He holds a responsible 
office in the church, is ground-officer for the laird as well as family bard. 
He possesses the only Gaelic New Testament in the district. He lives in 
the old house with three sons whose ages range from 75 to 68, all full .f 
Highland song and story, especially the youngest two fohn and Donald. 
When in the district, drovers from Loqhaber, Badenoch, and all p-irts 
of the Highlands find their way to this noted GV/7/V// house. Ilards, 
itinerants of all sorts, travelling tinkers, pipers, fiddlers, and mendicanta, 
who loved to hear or tell a good story, recite an old p<'in or romp 
modern one all come and are well received among the regular victors 
in the famous establishment. As we proceed, cadi of the strong" 
local celebrities will recite their own tales, not only those of their own 
districts but also those picked up in their wanderings throughou 
various parts of the country. 

It was a condition never deviated from, that every one in the house 
took some part in the evening's performance, with a story, a i">.-m, a 
riddle, or a proverb. This rule was not only wholesome, bul one wl, 
became almost a necessity to keep the company select, and 
from becoming overcrowded. A large oak chair was placed in a ]>;u 
spot-" where the sun rose" the occupant of which had to commen 
the evenings entertainment when the company assembled, the 


sequence "being that this seat, although one of the test in the house, was 
usually the last occupied ; and in some cases, when the house was not 
overcrowded, it was never taken up at all. In the latter case the one 
who sat next to it on the left, had to commence the evening's proceedings. 
It was no uncommon thing to see one of the company obliged to coin 
something for the occasion when otherwise unprepared. On one occasion 
the bard's grandson happened to find himself in the oak chair, and was 
called iipon to start the night's entertainment. Being in his own house 
he was not quite prepared for the unanimous and imperative demand 
made upon him to carry out the \isual rule, or leave the room. After 
some hesitation, and a little private humming in an undertone, he com- 
menced, however, a rythmical description of his grandfather's house, 
which is so faithful that, we think, we cannot do better than give it 
here, although chronologically it should bo given further on. The 
picture was complete, and brought down the plaudits of the house upon 
the " young bard " as he was henceforth designated. 


An cuala sibh rinmh mu'n tigh aig I r 

'Sann air tha'n deunanih tha ciallach ceart 
'S iomadli bliadhna o'n cbaidh a dheanamh 
Ach 's mor as fbiacli e ged tha e scan 
Se duine ciallach chuir ceanna-criocb air 
'S gur mor am pianadb a fhuair a pbears 
Le clacban mora ga'n cuir an ordugh, 
'S Sament da choinuticb ga'n cumail ceart. 

Tha dorus mor air ma choinneamh 'n-otraich 

'Us cloidhean oir air ga chumail glaist 

Tha uinueag chinn air ma cboinneamh 'n teintean 

'Us screen side oirre 'dh-fhodar glas ; 

Tha'n ceann a bhan deth o bbeul an fhalais 

A deanamh baithach air son a chruidh 

S gur cubhraidh am faladb a ting gu laidir 

O leid, na batha 'sa gbamhuinn duibh. 

Tba catba 's culaist ga dheanamh dubailt 

'S gur mor an umais tha anns an tigh 

Tba seidbir-ghairdean da dharach laidir 

'Us siaman ban air ga chumail ceart, 

Tha lota lair ann, da ghrebbiiil cathair 

'S cha chaith 's cha chnamh e gu brath n' am feasd 

Tha carpad mor air da luath na moine 

'S upstairs ceo ann le cion na vent. 

Tha sparan suithe o thaobh gu taobh ann 

'Us ceangail luibte gan cumail ceart 

Tha tuthain chaltuinn o cheann gu ceann deth 

'Us maide slabhraidh 's gur mor a neart, 

Tha lathais laidir o bheul an fhail air, 

Gu ruig am falas sgur mor am fad, 

Tha ropan siamaiu 'us pailteas lion air 

'S mar eil e dioiiach cha 'n eil mi ceart. 

On one occasion, on a dark and stormy winter's night, the lightning 
flashing through the heavens, the thunder clap loud and long, the wind 
blowing furiously, and heavy dark ominous clouds gathering in the north- 
west, the circle had already gathered, and almost every seat was occupied. 
It was the evening of the day of one of the local cattle markets. Three 
men came in, two of them well-known drovers or cattle buyers who 
had visited the house on previous. occasions, the other a gentleman 


who had, some time previously, arrived and taken up his quarters in 
the district. No one knew who he was, wl: ae i'roin. or wl 

name was. There were all sorts of rumours floating amongst tlie inhabit- 
ants regarding him ; that he had commitlxl some crime, and c-capfd from 
justice ; that he was a gentleman of high estate, who had lUllcm in love 
with a lowly maiden and run away to spite his family for objecting to the 
alliance ; and various other surmises. He was discovered to be a gentle- 
man and a scholar, and particularly frank and free in his conversation with 
the people about everything except his own history and antecedent <, and 
was a walking encyclopaedia of all kinds of legendary lore connected with 
the southern parts of the country. His appearance caused quite a flutter 
among the assembled rustics. He was, however, heartily welcomed by 
the old bard and members of the circle, and was offered a seat a little 
to the left of the oak arm chair. It was soon found that he w.n a 
perfect master of Gaelic as well as English. It was also found on further 
acquaintance, during many subsequent visits, that he never told a story 
or legend without a preliminary introduction of his own, told in such 
a manner as to add immensely to the interest of the tale. 

" CoinnicMdh na daoine ri cheile ach dia choinnich na cnuic " 
(Men will meet each other, but hills will never meet), said Ruairidh 
Mor a Chnuic, who, on this occasion, found himself in the Oak Chair. 
"Very true," said the next man to the left. " Cuiridh an tea 
nach t-fhuasgail an fkiacaill" (The tongue will tie a knot which the 
tooth cannot loosen). " Let sonic one give us a story." " Cha robh 
sgialach nach rolh briagach" (He Avho is a good story-teller- i 
a good retailer of lies), says Callum a Ghlinne, or Malcolm of the lllt-n, 
an excellent story-teller when he liked, "I'll give you a riddle though, 
and perhaps we may get a sgeulachd from the stranger, the gentleman, 
on my left," " An rud nach eil 's iiach rolh, 's nach I"" .-/// !, Inimh 'us 
eld thu e" ^ What is not, never was, and never will be, stretch forth 
your hand and you'll see it). This was soon answered by the younger 
members " Bar lui meur uileadh an aon fnad " (The points of the 
fingers the same length). It now comes the turn of the romantic stranger, 
who shall in these pages be known as " Norman of the Yacht." He was 
in no way put out, consented ; and immediately began the Legend, of 
which, and his introductory remarks, the following is a translation :-- 


In olden days the east coast of Scotland was studded with fortresses, 
which, like a cresent chain of sentinels, watched carefully for the pro- 
tection of their owners and their dependents. The ruins remain and 
raise their hoary heads over valley and stream, river bank and sea shore,. 
along which nobles, and knights, and followers " boden in efleyre-w.-ir " 
went gallantly tc^jheir fates ; and where in the Highlands many a i 
drove followed from the foray, in which they had been driven far from 
Lowland pastures or distant glens, with inhabitants a feud M 
Could the bearded warriors, who once thronged these halls awake, they 
would witness many a wonderful change since the half-forgotten days 
when they lived and loved, revelled, and fought, conquered, or sus: 
defeat. Where the bearer of the Crann-tara or fiery cross once rushed 


along on his hasty errand, the lightning of heaven now flashes by 
telegraphic wires to the farthest corners of the land. Through the craggie 
passes, and along the level plains, marked centuries ago with scarce a 
bridle path, the mighty steam horse now thunders over its iron road ; and 
where seaward once swam the skin curach, or the crazy fleets of diminutive 
war galleys, and tiny merchant vessels with their fantastic prows and 
sterns, and carved mast-heads, the huge hull of the steam propelled ship 
now breasts the waves that dash against the rugged headlands, or floats 
like a miniature volcano, with its attendant clouds of smoke obscuring 
the horizon. 

The Parish of Fearn in Easter Ross contains several antiquities of very 
distant date. One of these shattered relics, Castle Cadboll, deserves notice 
on account of a singular tradition regarding it, once implicitly credited by 
the people namely, that although inhabited for ages no person ever died 
within its walls. Its magical quality did not, however, prevent its dwellers 
from the suffering of disease, or the still more grievous evils attending on 
debility and old age. Hence many of the denizens of the castle became 
weary of life, particularly the Lady May, who lived there centuries ago, 
and who being long ailing, and longing for death, requested to be carried 
out of the building to die. 

Her importunity at length prevailed ; and according to the tradition, 
no sooner did she leave it than she expired. 

Castle Cadboll is situated on the sea shore, looking over the broad 
ocean towards Norway. From that country, in the early ages of Scottish 
history, came many a powerful Jarl, or daring Vikingr, to the coasts, 
which, in comparison with their own land, seemed fertile and 
wealthy. There is a tradition of a Highland clan having sprung from one 
of those adventurers, who with his brother agreed that whoever should 
first touch the land would possess it by right. 

The foremost was the vdtimate ancestor of the tribe; his boat was almost 
on shore, when the other, by a vigorous stroke, shot a-head of him ; but 
ere he could disembark, the disappointed competitor, with an exclamation 
of rage, cut off his left hand with his hatchet, and flinging the bloody 
trophy on the rocks, became, by thus " first touching Scottish ground," 
the owner of the country and founder of the clan. The perfect 
accuracy of this story cannot now be vouched for ; but it is an undeniable 
fact that the clan MacLeod have successfully traced their origin to a 
Norwegian source ; and there is a probability that the claim is correct 
from the manifestly Norwegian names borne by the founders of the Clan 
Tormod and Torquil, hence the Siol lormod the race of Tormod the 
MacLeods of Harris ; and the Siol Torquil, the race of Torquil 
MacLeods of Lewis of whom came the MacLeods of Assynt, one of 
whom betrayed Montrose in 1650, and from whom Jhe estates passed 
away in the end of the seventeenth century to the Maokenzies. 

The MacLeods of Cadboll are cadets of the house of Assynt. But to 
what branch the Lady May of the legend belonged it is difficult to decide, 
so many changes having occurred among Highland proprietors. 

The cliffs of this part of Ross-shire are wild and precipitous, sinking 
with a sheer descent of two hundred feet to the ocean. The scenery is 


more rugged than beautiful little verdure and less foliage. Trees are 
stunted by the bitter eastern blast, and the soil is poor. Alders are, 
however, plentiful, and from them the parish has derive,! its name of 
Fearn. There is a number of caves in the clift's along the shore towards 
Tarbet, where the promontory is bold, and crowned with a lighthouse, 
whose nickering rays are now the only substitute for the wonderful gem 
which was said of yore to sparkle on the brow of one of these eastern 
dills, a bountiful provision of nature for the succour of the wave-tossed 

During the reign of one of the early Stuart kings, which is of little 
moment, Eoderick MacLeod ruled with a high and lordly hand within 
the feudal stronghold of Cadboll. He was a stout and stern knight, 
whose life had been spent amidst the turmoil of national warfare and 
clan strife. 

Many a battle had he fought, and many a wound received since first 
he buckled on his father's sword for deadly combat. Amid the conflict- 
ing interests which actuated each neighbouring clan disagreement on any 
one of which rendered an immediate appeal to arms, the readiest mode of 
solving the difficulty it is not to be wondered at that Cadboll, as a 
matter of prudence, endeavoured to attach to himself, by every means in 
his power, those who were most likely to be serviceable and true. 
MacLeod had married late in life, and his wife dying soon after, while on 
a visit to her mother, left behind her an only daughter, who was dear as 
the apple of his eye to the old warrior, but, at the same time, he had no 
idea of any one connected with him having any freedom of will or 
exercise of opinion save what he allowed nor did he believe women's 
hearts were less elastic than his own, which he could bend to any needful 
expedient. About the period our story commences the Lady May was 
nearly eighteen years of age, a beautiful and gentle girl, whose hand was 
sought by many a young chief of the neighbouring clans ; but all unsuc- 
cessfully, for the truth was she already loved, and was beloved, in secret, 
by young Hugh Munro from the side of Ben "Wyvis. 

The favoured of the daughter was not the choice of her father, simply 
because he was desirous to secure the aid of the Macraes, a tribe occupy- 
ing Glenshiel, remarkable for great size and courage, and known in history 
as " the wild Macraes." The chief Macrae of Inverinate, readily fell 
in with the views of MacLeod, and as the time fixed for his marriage 
with the lovely Lady May drew nigh, gratified triumph over his rival 
Munro, and hate intense as a being of such fierce passions could feel, 
glowed like a gleaming light in his tierce grey eyes. 

" Once more," he said, " I will to the mountains to find him before 
the bridal. There shall be no chance of a leman crossing my marne* 
life, and none to digkle the love Inverinate shall possess entire. By my 
father's soul, but fflPboy shall rue the hour.he dared to cross my designs. 
Yi-s. rue it, for I swear to bring him bound to witness my marriage, and 
thru hang him like a skulking wild cat on Inverinate green." 

It was nightfall as he spoke thus. Little he knew that at the same 
moment Hugh Munro was sitting beneath the dark shadows ofV e aldei 
tives, [which grew under the window of the little chamber where J 


MacLeod was weeping "bitterly over the sad fate from which she could see 
no way of escape. As she sat thus the soft cry of the cushat fell upon 
her ears. Intently she listened for a few moments, and when it Avas 
repeated stepped to the window and opened it cautiously, leaning forth 
upon the sill. Again the sound stole from among the foliage, and May 
peered down into the gloom, but nothing met her gaze save the shadows 
of the waving branches upon the tower wall. 

" It is his signal," she whispered to herself as the sound was repeated 
once more. "Ah me ! I fear he will get himself into danger on account 
of these visits, and yet I cannot I cannot bid him stay away." 

She muffled herself in a dark plaid, moved towards the door, opened 
it cautiously, and listening with dread, timidly ventured down to meet 
her lover. 

" I must and will beg him to-night to stay away in future " continued 
she, as she tripped cautiously down the narrow winding stair " and yet 
to stay away? Ah me, it is to leave me to my misery; but it must be 
done, unkind as it may be, otherwise he will assuredly be captured and 
slain, for I fear Macrae suspects our meetings are not confined to the day 
and my father's presence." 

After stealing through many dark passages, corridors, and staircases, 
in out-of-the-way nooks, she emerged into the open air, through a 
neglected postern shadowed by a large alder, opposite the spot from which 
the sound proceeded. 

Again she gazed into the shadow, and there leaning against a tree 
growing on the edge of the crag she saw a tall slender figure. Well she 
knew the outlines of that form, and fondly her heart throbbed at the sound 
of the voice which now addressed her. 

"Dearest," said the young Munro in a low tone, "I thought thou 
wouldst never come. I have- been standing here like a statue against 
the trunk of this tree for the last half-hour watching for one blink of light 
from thy casement. But it seems thou preferrest darkness. Ah May, 
dear May, cease to indulge in gloomy forebodings." 

" Would 'that I could, Hugh," she answered sadly.. " What thoughts 
but gloomy ones can fill my mind when I am ever thinking of the danger 
you incur by coming here so often, and thinking too of the woeful fate to 
which we are both destined." 

" Think no more of it " said her lover in a cheerful tone. " We have 
hope yet." 

" Alas, there is no hope. Even this day my father hath fixed the time 
for to me this dreaded wedding ? And thou Hugh, let this be our last 
meeting Mar ilia mi! our last in the world. Wert thou caught by 
Inverinate, he so hates thee, he would have thy life by the foulest 

" Fear not for that dearest. And this bridal ! Listen May, before 
that happen the eagle will swoop down and bear thee away to his free 
mountains, amid their sunny glens and bosky woods, to love thee darling 
as no other mortal, and certainly none of the Clan-'ic-Rathmhearlaich has 
heart to do." 


"Ah me ! " sighed May, " would that it could be so. I cannot leave 
my father until all other hope is gone, and yet I fear if I do not we are 
fated to be parted. Even this may be the last time we may meet. I 
warn thee, Hugh, I am well watched, and I beg you will be careful. 
Hush ! was that a footfall in the grove below the crag?" and she pointed 
to a clump of trees at some distance under where they were stand in* and 
on the path by which he would return. 

" By my troth it may be so," said he. " Better, dear May, retire to 
your chamber and I shall remain here till you bid me good night from 
your window." 

Again they listened, and again the rustling met their ears distinctly. 
It ceased, and the maiden bidding her mountain lover a fond good night, 
ascended to her chamber, while he disdaining to be frightened away 1 by 
sound, moved to his former position below the alder tree. Seating 
himself at its root, with his eyes fixed on the window, in a voice low but 
distinct, he sang to one of the sweet sad lays of long ago, a ditty to his 
mistress, of which the following paraphrase will convey an idea : 

" Oh darling May, my promised bride, 

List to my love come fly with me, 
Where dowu the dark Ben Wyvis side 

The torrent dashes wild and free. 
O'er sunny glen and forest brake'; 

O'er meadow green and mountain grand ; 
O'er rocky gorge and gleaming lake 

Come, reign, the lady of the land. 

Come cheer my lonely mountain home, 

Where gleams the lake, where rills dance bright ; 
Where flowers bloom fair come dearest come 

And light my dark and starless night. 
One witching gleam from thy bright eye 

Can change to halls of joy my home ! 
One song, one softly uttered sigh, 

Can cheer my lone heart dearest come." 

The moment the song ceased the fair form of May MacLeod appeared 
at the casement overhead, she waved a fond farewell to her mountain 
minstrel and closed the window ; but the light deprived of her fair face 
had no charm for him he gazed once more at the pane through which it 
beamed like a solitary star, amid the masses of foliage, and was turning 
away when he found a heavy hand laid on his shoulder. 

" Stay," exclaimed the intruder in a deep stern voice, whose tone the 
young chief knew but too well. " Thou hast a small reckoning to discharge 
ere thou go, my good boy. I am Macrae." 

"And I," answered the other, "am Hugh Munro, what seek'st thou 
from me V 

" That thou shalt soon know, thou skulking hill cat," answered 
Macrae throwing his unbuckled sword belt and scabbard on the ground 
and advancing with extended weapon. 

" Indeed ! then beware of the wild cat's spring," Munro promptly 
replied, giving a sudden bound which placed him inside the guard of his 
antagonist, whose waist he instantly encircled within his sinewy arms 
with the design of hurling him over the crag on which they stood. The 


struggle was momentary. Munro, struck to the heart with Macrae's 
dagger, fell with May's loved name on his lips, while Macrae, staggering 
over the height in the act of falling, so wounded himself by his own 
weapon as to render his future life one of helpless manhood and bitter 
mental regret. 

MacLeod was soon after slain in one of the many quarrels of the time, 
while his daughter May, the sorrowing heiress of the broad lands of Cad- 
boll, lived on for fifty years one long unrelieved day of suffering. 

Fifty . years ! Alas for the mourner spring succeeded winter, and 
summer spring, but no change of season lightened May MacLeod's burden ! 
Fifty years I year by year passing away only brought changes to those who 
lived under her gentle sway, and among the dependents of her home ; 
youth passed into age, young men and maidens filled the places of the 
valued attendants of her girlhood ; but the Lady solitary still a mour- 
ner, in her feudal tower grew old and bent, thin and wan, and still 
in her heart the love of her youth bloomed fresh for her betrothed. 

And then disease laid hold of her limbs paralyzed unable to move, 
she would fain have died, but the spell of Cadboll was on her death 
could not enter within its walls. 

Sickness and pain, care and grief, disappointment, trust betrayed, 
treachery and all the ills which life is heir to, all might and did enter 
there. Death alone was barred without. 

Sadly her maidens listened to her heart breaking appeals, to the spirit 
of Munro, her unwed husband, the murdered bridegroom of her young life, 
to come to her aid from the land of shadows and of silece. They knew 
her story of the fifty years of long ago, and they pitied and grieved with 
her, wondering at the constancy of her woman's heart. 

Still more sadly did they listen to her appeals to be carried out from 
the castle to the edge of the precipice where the power of the spell ceased, 
there to look for, meet and welcome death ; but they knew not the 
story of the spell, and they deemed her mad Avith grief. 

Terrified at last by her appeals to the dead, with whom she seemed to 
hold continual conversation, and who seemed to be present in the 
chamber with them, though unseen, and partly, at length, worn out 
with her unceasing importunities, and partly to gratify the whim, as 
they considered it, of the sufferer, tremblingly they agreed to obey 
her requests and to carry her forth to the edge of the cliff. A frightened 
band, they bore the Lady May, lying on her couch, smiling Avith hope 
and blessing them for thus consenting. Over the threshold, over the 
draAvbridge, her eyes fixed on the heavens, brightened as they pro- 
ceeded. Hope flushed Avith hectic glow upon her pale suffering face, 
grateful thanks broke from her lips. Hastening their steps they passed 
through the gate, wound along the hill side, and as the broad expanse 
of ocean with the fresh Avind curling it into wavelets burst upon the 
sight, a flash of rapture beamed on her countenance ; a cry of joy rushed 
from her pallid lips their feeble burden grew heavier. A murmur 
of welcoming delight was \ittered to some glorious presence, unseen 
by the maidens, and all became hushed eternally. The Lady May 


lay on her couch a stiffening corpse. The spell of Cadboll had been broken 
at last. A MacLeod inhabited it no more, and decay and ruin seized on 
the hoary pile of which now scarcely a vestige remains to tell of the 
former extent and feudal strength of Castle Cadboll. 

(To be continued.) 


This is the claymore that my ancestors wielded, 

This is the old blade that oft smote the proud foe ; 
Beneath its bright gleam all of home hath been shielded, 

And oft were our title-deeds signed with its blow. 
Its hilt hath been circled by valorous fingers ; 

Oft, oft hath it flashed like a mountaineer's ire, 
Around it a halo of beauty still lingers 

That lights up the tale which can ever inspire. 

The Highland Claymore ! The old Highland Claymore, 

Gleams still like the fire of a warrior's eye, 
Tho' hands of the dauntless will grasp it no more 
Disturb it not now, let it peacefully lie. 

It twinkled its love for the bold chieftain leading, 

It shone like a star on the moon-lighted heath ; 
As lightning in anger triumphantly speeding 

Its keen edge hath swept on the pinions of death : 
Wild-breathing revenge o'er the corse of a kinsman, 

Dark-vowing their ancient renown to maintain ; 
Its sheen hath been dimmed by the lips of brave clansmen, 

Unwiped till the foe was exultingly slain. 

The Highland Claymore ! The old Highland Claymore, &c. 

It baffled the Norseman and vanquished the Roman, 

'Twas drawn for the Bruce and the old Scottish throne, 
It victory bore over tyrannous foemen, 

For Freedom had long made the weapon her own. 
It swung for the braw Chevalier and Prince Charlie, 

'Twas stained at Drurnmossie with Sassenach gore : 
It sleeps now in peace, a dark history's ferlie, 

Oh ! ne'er may be wakened the Highland Claymore. 

The Highland Claymore ! The old Highland Claymore, &c. 




1ST OCTOBER 1621 TO 17TH APEIL 1637. 

The volume examined ranges over the above period, and contains a 
great variety of matter, some of little or no interest now ; and, of course, 
in such Records there is, as might be expected, a great deal of sameness ; 
we have, therefore, as set forth above, made some extracts of what we 
considered the most interesting and curious. 


Our first extract is one of common occurrence, and similar ones might 
be picked out of almost every second page. Alexander Gumming and 
James Gumming, both burgesses of Inverness, quarrel. Mutual friends 
became security for each that they shall keep the peace and do one 
another no harm, under the penalty of 300 merks. In some instances 
the penalty is larger, and in others smaller, just according to the circum- 
stances of the individuals : 

" The Head Burgh Court of Inverness after Michaelmas, held within 
the Tolbooth of the same by James Cuthbert of Easter Drakies, Provost, 
Andrew Fraser, Wm. Paterson, elder, Bailies, conjunctly and severally, 
the 1st day of October, the year of 1621 years, the suits called, the Court 
fenced and affirmed as use is : That day, Wm. Gray in Inverness is 
become acted surety, cautioner and lawburrows for Alexander Gumming, 
burgess there, that James Gumming, burgess of the said burgh, shall be 
harmless and skaithless of the said Alexander, in his body, goods and 
gear, in all time coming, otherwise than by order of Law and Justice, 
under the pain of 300 merks money, and the said Alexander is become 
acted for his said cautioner's relief, whereupon took Act of Court." 

(Signed) JAMES DUFF. Clerk. 

" That day William Robertson, elder, burgess of Inverness, is become 
acted surety, cautioner and lawburrows for James Gumming, that Alexander 
Gumming shall be harmless and skaithless of him, in all time coming 
otherwise than by order of Law and Justice in his body, goods and gear, 
under the pain of 300 merks money, and the said James is become acted 
for his cautioner's relief, whereupon," &c. 

"The Justice and Burgh Court of the Burgh of Inverness, held 
[as above] the 25th day of October the year of God 1621 years, the 
suits called, the Court lawfully fenced and affirmed as use is." 


We have here rather a curious mode of challenge. The parties cut a 
quantity of straw, each taking a half, and then retire to the Dempster 


Gardens to test their strength. Forms of challenge vary much. There 
is the gentlemanly way of throwing down one's glove or gauntlet, the 
biting of one's thumb as in Eomeo and Juliet, and boys have their 
modes as well as their elders. We remember a common one in Inv.-r- 
ness some twenty-five years ago, was to count an opponent's buttons, thofe 
of his waistcoat, and then slap him in the face. Another mode was, if 
any two were egged on to try their strength, the one gave the other what 
was called fuge. This was done in the following way : A friend or 
second of one of the opponents said, ' Will you fight him?' The answer, 
of course, was ' Yes.' The friend then stretched out his right arm and 
said ' Spit over that.' This being done, he was requested to follow up this 
procedure by giving his antagonist fuge, or a blow. The combatants, after 
either of the above formalities, retired with their respective friends to 
some unfrequented spot as the Barnhill or Longman, and there had a fair 
open set-to. No unfair advantage was permitted, and after a few rounds 
the affair was over, and the parties became friends again, or the trial of 
strength was adjourned to be renewed at some future period. Unfortun- 
ately, however, for some of us boys if our then teacher got a hint of 
what was going on, which, somehow or other, he invariably did, then 
all concerned, both onlookers and combatants, got a good flogging right 

It will be observed that the Magistrates of those days, who then had 
far more extensive powers than now, dealt in a very summary manner 
with the murderer. The Heading-hill was the elevated part of M nil-field. 
Burt, a century later, gives a graphic account of an execution he once 
witnessed there : 

" Thou, John Williamson Skinner, art indicted for the cruel slaughter 
and murder of the late Murdo M'Ay vie David Robe in Culloden, which you 
committed yester-night. being the 24th of October instant, upon the fields 
of Easter Dempster within this Burgh, after you being drinking in William 
M 'Andrew Roy, his house, boasted, and gave evil speeches to the said 
late Murdo appealled (i.e., challenged) him to the singular combat, and cut 
a quantity of straw and delivered the one-half thereof to him, and put the 
other part thereof in your purse, which was found with thee, whereupon 
you passed forth immediately out of the said house and took thy sword and 
targe with thee and followed the said late Murdo to the said Held, where 
thou onbcset (set on) him, and with thy drawn sword sticked and struck him 
in the belly, whereof he departed this present life immediately thereafter, 
you being taken with red hand, remain yet incarcerated therefor: Where- 
through you have not only committed cruel murder and slaughter, but 
also been ulleriug of singular combat, express against his M.ij.-ty's I.nvs 
and Acts of Parliament, which you cannot deny, and therefore you ought 
to die. 

" That day the said John Williamson being accused on the said dittay 
in judgment, by Finlay M'Ay vie David Kobe and James M'Ay vie David 
Robe, brothers to the said late Murdo, denied the same, therefore de-in-d 
the same to be remitted to the trial and cognition of an assize, as he who 
was panelled, whereupon, &c. 

" Raines of the Assize John Cuthbert of Auld Castle-hill, Chancellor; 



James Waus ; James Cuthbert, elder ; "William Robertson, elder ; Alex- 
ander Paterson ; James Cuthbert in Merkinck ; Andrew Eraser, merchant ; 
Thomas Eobertson, David Watson, Alexander Taylor, James Cuthbert 
Jamesson, Patrick Anderson, Jasper Cuthbert, Robert Neilson, Thomas 
M'Noyiar, William Gray, Robert Moncreiff, William M'Conchie, mer- 
chant ; William Stevenson, Erancis Bishop, James Stewart : 

" That day the foresaid haill ' persons of assize being all sworn in 
judgment and admitted, and after trial and cognition taken by them of the 
said crime, have all in one voice convicted and filed the said John 
Williamson to be the doer thereof; pronounced by the mouth of John 
Cuthbert of Auld Castle-hill, Chancellor of the Assize, whereupon, &c." 

" That day the judges ordain the said John Williamson to be taken 
to the Heading-hill and there to be headed, and to sunder the head from 
the shoulders, for the said slaughter committed by him. Doom given 
thereon and ordain his haill goods and gear to be escheated. Where- 
upon, &c. 

"That day, thou William Reid M 'Andrew Roy in Inverness, art 
indicted for the art and part, and counsel, of the cruel slaughter or murder 
of the late Murdo M'Ay vie David Robe in Culloden, upon the 24th day 
of October instant, where thou with John Williamson Skinner, thy 
accomplice, drinking with him in your own house in Inverness, first 
boistit (boasted) the said late Murdo, and thereafter appealled him to the 
singular combat, and cut straw to that effect, thou thereafter, with the said 
John Williamson, passed immediately furth and followed the said late 
Murdo to the field called Easter Dempster, where thou and the said John 
Williamson beset the said late Murdo, and thou took and held him while 
the said John Williamson struck him, like as thou also with a knife you 
struck him in the womb, of the which strikes (blows) the said late Murdo 
immediately deceased, which you cannot deny, and therefore thou ought 
to die. 

" That day the said William Reid M' Andrew Roy, being accused on 
the said dittay in judgment by Finlay M'Ay vie David Robe and James 
M'Ay vie David Robe, brothers to the said late Murdo, denied the same, 
therefore desired to be remitted to the trial and cognition of an assize. 
Whereupon, &c. [Barnes of the Assize as above set forth.] 

"That day the foresaid haill persons of Assize being all sworn in 
judgment, and admitted, and after trial and cognition taken by them of 
the said crime, have all in one voice absolved and made free the said 
William Reid M'Andrew Roy, pronounced by the mouth of John 
Cuthbert of Auld Castlehill, Chancellor of the Assize in judgment. 
Whereupon, &c. 

" That day the judges absolve the said William Reid M'Andrew Roy 
from the said crime. Whereupon took Act of Court and instruments. 

(Signed) " JAMES DUFF, Clerk." 


Burgesses, two hundred years ago, had great privileges within Burgh 
and had likewise proportionate duties to perform. Many cases like the 


following have come under notice. In some instances tin- sums paid are 
larger, and in some much smaller. Sometimes, however, a person is 
admitted a burgess without fee, because of the usefulness of his trade or 
profession, and occasionally as now the honour was conferred on some one 
of high rank or reputation. 

It will be noticed that the newly admitted burgess is to maintain and 
defend the true religion presently prmclii'd within this kingdom. Almost 
every newly elected burgess had to treat the Magistrates and Town 
Council to cake and wine, and sometimes to something more substantial, 
and also to give certain fees to the burgh officers. 

"The Burgh Court of the Burgh of Inverness, holden within the 
Tolbooth of the same by James Cuthbert of Faster Drakies, Provost; 
Duncan Forbes, Andrew Eraser, notary; and "William Paterson, elder ; 
bailies of the said burgh, the last day of October, the year of God ic-Jl 
years, the suits called, the Court lawfully fenced and affirmed, as use is : 

"That day John Paterson, merchant, gave in his petition desiring him 
to be admitted free burgess and guild brother of this hurgh, r.nd having 
tried his conversation have thought him meet to be in their society, and 
for the sum of ten merks money paid by him to James Dull', clerk, in 
their names, and as collector thereof, therefore have admitted, nominated, 
and created the said John Paterson free burgess and guild In-other of this 
burgh of Inverness, with power to him to use, haunt and exercise all 
manner of liberty and freedom as becometh. a free burgess and guild 
brother of this burgh use to do, in all time coming, who has given tin- 
great solemn oath, the holy evangelist touched, that he shall maintain and 
defend the true religion presently preached within this kingdom, and that 
he shall be faithful and true to the Crown and his Majesty's Acts and 
Statutes, and that he shall be obedient to the Provost, Bailies, and 
Council of Inverness, keep their Acts and Statutes, and that he shall 
defend them and the liberty of the said burgh with his person, goods and 
gear, and that he shall scot and lot, watch and ward with them and the 
neighhours thereof, and that he, shall not hail nor conceal their hurt nor 
harm, and that he shall not purchase no Lordships in their contrar 
(in opposition to them), wherein if he does in the contrar, these presents 
to be null, as if they had never been granted, upon the which the 
Provost in the name of the Father, the S >n, and the Holy Ghost, put 
the guild ring on his five fingers of his right hand, and created the .-aid 
John free burgess and guild brother, with all ceremonies requisite. 
Thereupon, &c." 

The buying of Lordships or lauds without the knowledge of, or in 
opposition to the wish and interest of the community was a heinous sin, 
and the guilty party was always disburgessed, which then meant ruin. 


Inverness, from an early period, was noted for trade in hide* and 
leather. Before the opening up of the ready facilities now afforded 
twixt the West Coast and the south by steamboats and railways, tl it- 
Highland Capital was the chief outlet for all the produce of the Western 
ties and North Highlands, and consequently dealt largely in an export 


and import trade. The export consisted chiefly of fish, tanned hides, 
leather, and gloves ; while the imports were wines, groceries, iron, 
ammunition, &c. This trade was, as a rule, with foreign parts, and prin- 
cipally with the Netherlands. Indeed, in early times because of the feuds 
twixt England and Scotland, the latter was on a much more friendly 
footing with Spain, France, the low countries, and Denmark than she was 
with the sister country, and hence probably the old song 

Oh, have you any broken pots, 

Or any broken branders ? 
For I'm a tinker to my trade, 

I'm newly come from Flanders ! 

Leather and tanned hides were exciseable, and hence the following 
appointments : 

"At Inverness the 2d day of the month of November, A.D. 1621, in 
presence of James Cuthbert, Provost ; William Paterson and Duncan 
Forbes, bailies That day Mr Samuel Falconer of Kingcorth, and Alex. 
Forbes, servitor to my Lord Duke of Lennox, commissioners appointed 
by a noble Lord, John Lord Erskine, for establishing keepers of the seal 
for sealing and stamping of leather and tanning of hides ; by these 
presents have nominated and appointed Andrew Fraser, notary, burgess of 
Inverness, keeper of the said stamp and seal, within the burgh of Inverness 
and bounds thereabout following, to wit from the shire of Nairn at the 
east, to the height of Strathglass at the west, including the priory of 
Beauly therein, with the lands and bounds of Urquhart, Glenmoriston, and 
Badenoch, AbertarfT, Stratherrick, Strathdearn, Strathnairn; who has 
accepted the same and given his oath pro fideli administratione, and to be 
accountable to the said noble Lord or his deputes for the same as law 
will, and this present commission to stand to the Feast of "Whitsunday 
next to come 1622 years allenarly. Whereupon took Act of Court. 

(Signed) " JAMES DUFF, Clerk." 

" That day the said Mr Samuel Falconer of Kingcorth, and the said 
Alex. Forbes, servitor to my Lord Duke of Lennox, commissioners 
appointed by a noble Lord, John Lord Erskine, for establishing keepers 
of the seal for sealing and stamping of leather and tanned hides, by these 
presents have nominated Eobert Dunbar, Tutor of Avoch, keeper of the 
said stamp and seal within the haill bounds, lands and parishes of the 
diocese and commissariat of Ross (the priory of Beauly only excepted), 
who has accepted the same and given his oath pro fideli administratione, 
and to be accountable to the said noble Lord or his deputes for the same 
as law will, and this present commission to stand to the Feast and Term 
of Whitsunday next to come, 1622 years allenarly. Whereupon the said 
Alex. Forbes asked and took Act of Court. 

(Signed) " JAMES DUFF, Clerk." 


" 10th April 1622. In presence of James Cuthbert, Provost; Andrew 
Fraser and Duncan Forbes, bailies of said burgh 

" That day John Cuthbert Johnson being accused by Catherine 
Dwibar, spouse to Francis Brodie, for the riot committed by him this day, 


viz., she being in her own "booth, opposite the cross, in the morning 
doing her lawful business, the said John came to the booth door, closed 
and locked the door and enclosed her and her servants therein, and 
carried the keys thereof with him, and thereafter immediately he passed 
to the dwelling-house of the said Catherine, and there closed four doors, 
and took away the keys with him, whereby she was constrained to cause 
break up the booth door, and to let her and her servants forth, to her 
great prejudice. 

" That day compeared the said John Cuthbert and confessed the 
premises, alleging he did the same upon presumption and information, 
that she was taking some goods, gear, and plenishing furth of the said 
booth privily, which pertained to the late William Cuthbert his brother, 
which he remits to the Judge's Interlocutor. 

"That day the foresaid judges ordain the said John Cuthbert to 
remain in ward, aye and until they take order with him, and decern him, 
in like manner, to come to the booth and deliver the keys to the said 
Catherine Dunbar ; and, in like manner, to come to her house, and there to 
deliver the other four keys, and to confess his offence, and ordain him to 
pay for his riot, committed by him, to the Town's Treasurer, fifty pounds 
money, and to remain in ward until he pay the same. Whereupon took 
Act of Court. 

(Signed) "JAMES DUFF, Clerk." 


It will be observed that he is not held responsible for his conduct 
duriiKj drunkenness. The punishment is certainly severe, and he must 
have been an incorrigible individual if the " thief's hole " did not suffice, 
as from later accounts it was such a nuisance that on more than one 
occasion a cart load of peats had to be burnt therein to make the place 
sweet : 

"9th July, A.D. 1622. In presence of William Paterson, senior, one 
of the bailies of the burgh of Inverness : That day Thomas Paterson, 
tailor in Inverness, is become acted, in the Burgh Court books thereof, 
voluntarily, of his own free motive and will, that if ever he offend any 
person or persons within this burgh, either by word, work, or deed, before 
or after drunkenness, that he shall be taken to the thief s hole within the 
Tolbooth of Inverness, and there to remain for the space of twenty days, 
and thereafter to be taken to the Cross, and there to be punished as a 
public offender, and to be banished out of the said burgh for ever ; and 
if 1 ever he be found in the said burgh after his banishment, in that case 
to be taken to the Water of Ness, and to duck him there, and thereafter 
to put him in ward until he die. Whereupon Kobert Sinclair asked and 
took Act. 

(Signed) " JAMES DUFF, Clerk. 

" At Inverness the 2d day of the month of September, A.D. ^ 22, 
in presence of James Cuthbert, Provost; Andrew Fraser U i 
Robertson, senior, and William Paterson, senior, bailies of said burgh: 


That day the foresaid judges decern and ordain Auton Anderson for the 
back-biting and slandering of Andrew Eraser, bailie ; and Alexander 
Logan, notary, for saying to them that the saids persons have sold him to 
his contrar (opposite) party by seeking out of his decreet ; and also for 
boasting (threatening) and menacing of the said persons, is decerned in 
twenty merks money ; and likewise shall come to the Cross by ten hours 
on Saturday, in presence of the magistrates, conveyed by the officers from 
his own house, and there shall confess in presence of the haill people his 
oflence, as likewise shall come two several Sundays in white suits ; and 
last thereof, shall come down in presence of the haill congregation and 
confess his fault, and to remain in ward until he obtain pardon for the 
same, under the pain of two hundred pounds. 

(Signed) " JAMES DUFF, Clerk." 


It would seem that the heinousness of the misdemeanour was increased 
because of the presence of strangers. The probable punishment of the 
female would be the ducking-stool, which, to the terror of all beholders, 
occupied a prominent position about the centre of the Bridge Street, on 
the right hand going towards the bridge from the Cross : 

"That day John Christie and Janet Robertson, his spouse, for their 
riots committed by them on one another, these divers years bygone in 
backbiting, slandering, and abusing of one another with vile speeches, and 
in dinging (hitting), hurting, and bleeding of one another, and specially 
upon the last day of August last by passed, ye both enterit (attacked) one 
another, on the High King's Causey in presence of divers strangers, and 
there the said John Christie dang (hit) his said spouse, torrit (tore) her 
head, and kust (cast) her churge (cap) in the mire, and cast herself in the 
111 ire and tramped her with his feet ; and likewise she in the meantime 
took her said spouse by the gorgit (throat), and in the craig (neck), most 
odious to be seen ; therefore the said John, for his fault, is decerned in 
twenty pounds money, and to amit (lose) his liberty for one year, and in 
case he be found to commit the like fault in any time coming, to. pay 
forty pounds money toties quoties, and in like manner remit the punish- 
ment of the said Janet Robertson for drunkenness and misbehaviour to 
the censure of the kirk. Whereupon, &c. u 

(To be Continued). 

ME H. L. ROLFE, the celebrated Irish painter, has just finished a large 
natural history picture, entitled " A Border Feud." The scene is laid on 
a Scotch loch. An otter has succeeded in taking a salmon, which it has 
just commenced to devour ; an eagle is flying away, having been dis- 
appointed of its prey. This last effort of Mr Rolfe's is the most success- 
ful which has yet appeared from his studio. 

THE Christian Knowledge Society is bringing out a revised edition of 
their Gaelic translation of the Book of Common Prayer. 




By CHARLES MACKAY, LL.D., F.S.A., Author oftlie Gaelic Etymology of 
the English and Lowland Scotch, and the Languages of Western Europe. 


THE learned Godfrey Higgins informs us in his Anacalypsis that "every 
word in every language has originally had a meaning, whether a nation has 
it by inheritance, by importation, or by composition." He adds that it 
is evident if we can find out the original meaning of the words which 
stand for the names of objects, great discoveries may be expected. The 
Duke of Somerset, in our day, expresses the same truth more tersely when 
he says that " every word in every language has its pedigree." 

All who are acquainted with the early lyrical literature of England 
and Scotland, preserved in the songs and ballads of the days immediately 
before and after Shakspere, must sometimes have asked themselves the 
meaning of such old choruses as " Down, down, derry down," " With a 
fal, lal, la" " Tooral, looral," "Hey, nonnie, nonnie," and many others. 
These choruses are by 110 means obsolete, though not so frequently heard 
in our day as they used to be a hundred years ago. " Down, down, derry 
dowit," still flourishes in immortal youth in every village alehouse and 
beershop where the farm labourers and mechanics are accustomed to 
assemble. One of the greatest living authorities on the subject of 
English song and music Mr William Chappell the editor of the Popu- 
lar Music of the Olden Time, is of opinion that these choruses, or burdens, 
AVI TO "mere nonsense Avords that Avent glibly oft' the tongue." He adds 
(vol. i., page 223), " I am aware that ' Hey down, down, derry down,' has 
been said to be a modern version of ' Ha, down, ir, deri danno,' the burden 
of an old song of the Druids, signifying, Come let us haste to the oaken 
grove (Jones, Welsh Bards, vol. i., page 128), but this I believe to be mere 
conjecture, and th^it it Avould HOAV be impossible to prove that the Druids 
had such a song." That Mr ChappelTs opinion is not correct, will, I 
think^appear from the etymological proofs of the antiquity of this and < >tluT 
choruses afforded by the venerable language which Avas spoken throughout 
the British Isles by the aboriginal people for centuries before the Eoman 
invasion, and Avhich is not yet extinct in Wales, in Ireland, in the Isle of 
Man, and in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. 

Julius Caesar, the conqueror of Gaul and Britain, has left a description 
of the Druids and their religion, which is of the highest historical int. 
That system and religion came originally from Assyria, Egypt, and 
Phoenicia, and spread over all Europe at a period long anterior to the 
building of Eome, or the existence of the Eonian people. The Druids 
AVCIV known by name, but scarely more than by name, to tho 
Greeks, Avlio derived the appellation erroneously from drtu, an oak, 
under the supposition that the Druids pivl'cnvd to perform their 
religious rites under the shadoAvs of oaken groves. The Greeks also 


called the Druids Saronides, from two Celtic words sar and 
signifying " excellent or superior men." The Celtic meaning of the 
word "Druid" is to enclose within a circle, and a Druid meant a 
prophet, a divine, a bard, a magician ; one who was admitted to the 
mysteries of the inner circle. The Druidic religion was astronomical, and 
purely deistical, and rendered reverence to the sun, moon, and stars as the 
visible representatives of the otherwise unseen Divinity who created man 
and nature. " The Druids used no images," says the Eeverend Doctor 
Alexander in his excellent little volume on the Island of lona, published 
by the Religious Tract Society, " to represent the object of their worship, 
nor did they meet in temples or buildings of any kind for the performance 
of their sacred rites. A circle of stones, generally of vast size, and 
surrounding an area of from twenty feet to thirty yards in diameter, 
constituted their sacred place ; and in the centre of this stood the cromlech 
(crooked stone), or altar, Avhich was an obelisk of immense size, or a large 
oblong flat stone, supported by pillars. These sacred circles were usually 
situated beside a river or stream, and under the shadow of a grove, an 
arrangement which was probably designed to inspire reverence and awe 
in the minds of the worshippers, or of those who looked from afar on 
their rites. Like others of the Gentile nations also, they had their ' high 
places,' which were large stones, or piles of stones, on the summits of 
hills ; these were called earns (cairns), and were used in the worship of 
the deity under the symbol of the sun. In this repudiation of images 
and worshipping of God in the open air they resembled their neighbours 
the Germans, of whom Tacitus says that from the greatness of the 
heavenly bodies, they inferred that the gods could neither be inclosed 
within walls, nor assimilated to any human form ; and he adds, that 'they 
consecrated groves and forests, and called by the names of the gods that 
mysterious object which they behold by mental adoration alone.' 

" In what manner and with what rites the Druids worshipped their 
deity, there is now no means of ascertaining with minute accuracy. There 
is reason to believe that they attached importance to the ceremony of 
going thrice round their sacred circle, from east to west, following the 
course of the sun, by which it is supposed they intended to express their 
entire conformity to the will and order of the 'Supreme Being, and their 
desire that all might go well with them according to that order. It may 
be noticed, as an illustration of the tenacity of popular usages and religious 
rites, how they abide with a people, generation after generation, in spite 
of changes of the most important kind, nay, after the very opinions out 
of which they have risen have been repudiated ; that even to the present 
day certain movements are considered of good omen when they follow the 
course of the sun, and that in some of the remote parts of the country the 
practice is still retained of seeking good fortune by going thrice round 
some supposed sacred object from east to west." 

But still more remarkable than the fact which Doctor Alexander has 
stated, is the vitality of the ancient Druidic chants, which still survive on 
the popular tongue for nearly two thousand years after their worship 
has disappeared, and after the meaning of these strange snatches and 
fragments of song has been all but irretrievably lost, and almost wholly 
unsuspected. Stonehenge, or the Coir-mlwr, on Salisbury Plain, is the 


grandest remaining monument of the Druids in the British Isles. Every- 
body has heard of this mysterious relic, though few know that many other 
Druidical circles of minor importance are scattered over various parts of 
England, Scotland, and Ireland. In Scotland they are especially nume- 
rous. One but little known, and not mentioned by the Duke of Argyll in 
his book on the remarkable island of which he is the proprietor, is situated, 
between the ruins of the cathedral of lona and the sea shore, and is wellS 
worthy of a visit from the thousands of tourists who annually make the 
voyage round the noble Isle of Mull, on purpose to visit lona and Staffa. 
There is another Druidic circle on the mainland of Mull, and a large and 
more remarkable one at Lochnell, near Oban, in Argyllshire, which pro- 
mises to become as celebrated as Stonehenge itself, combining as it does 
not only the mystic circle, but a representation, clearly denned, of the 
mysterious serpent, the worship of which entered so largely into all the 
Oriental religious of remote untiquity. There are other circles in Lewis 
and the various islands of the Hebrides, and as far north as Orkney and 
Shetland. It was, as we learn from various authorities, the practice of 
the Druidical priests and bards to march in procession round the inner 
circle of their rude temples, chanting religious hymns in honour of the 
sunrise, the noon, or the sunset ; hymns which have not been wholly lost 
to posterity, though" posterity has failed to understand them, or imagined 
that their burdens their sole relics are but unmeaning words, invented 
for musical purposes alone, and divested of all intellectual signification. 

The best known of these choruses is "Down, down, dernj down," 
which may either be derived from the words dun, a hill ; and darag or 
darach, an oak tree ; or from duine, a man ; and doire, a wood ; and 
may either signify an invitation to proceed to the hill of the oak trees 
for the purposes of worship, or an invocation to the men of the woods 
( to join in the Druidical march and chant, as the priests walked in 
procession from the interior of the stone circle to some neighbouring 
grove upon a down or hill. This chorus survives in many hundreds of 
English popular songs, but notably in the beautiful ballad " The Three 
Ravens," preserved in Melismata (1611) : 

There were three ravens sat on a tree, 

Down-a-down 1 hey down, hey down. 
They were as black as black might be, 

With a down ! 

Then one of them said to his mate, 
"Where shall we now our breakfast take, 

With a down, down, derry, derry, down / 

A second well-known and vulgarised chorus is " Tooral looral," of 
which the most recent appearance is in a song which the world owes to 
the bad taste of the comic muse that thinks it cannot be a muse until it 
blackens its face to look like a negro : 

Once a maiden fair, 

She had ginger hair, 
With her tooral looral Id, di, oh ! 

And she fell in love 

Did this turtle dove 
And her name was Dooral, 
Hoopty Dooral ! Tooral looral, oh my ! 

This vile trash contains two Celtic or Gaelic words, which are sus- 


ceptible of two separate interpretations. looral may be derived from the 
Celtic turail slow, sagacious, wary ; and Looral from luathrail (pro- 
nounced laurail) quick, signifying a variation in the time of some 
musical composition to which the Druidical priests accommodated their 
footsteps in a religious procession, either to the grove of worship, or 
around the inner stone circle of the temple. It is also possible that the 
words are derived from luath-reul and Luatli-reul (t silent in both 
instances), the first signifying "^N~orth star," and the second "Swift .star;" 
appropriate invocations in the mouths of a priesthood that studied all the 
motions of the heavenly bodies, and were the astrologers as well as the 
astronomers of the people. 

A third chorus, which, thanks to the Elizabethan writers, has not 
been vulgarised, is that which occurs in John Chalkhill's " Praise of a 
Countryman's Life," quoted by Izaak Walton : 

Oh the sweet contentment 

The countryman doth find. 

High trolollie, lollie, lol : High trolollie, lee, 

These words are easily resolvable into the Celtic Ai ! or Aibhe f Hail ! 
or All Hail ! Trath pronounced trail, early, and la, day ! or " Ai, trd 
la, Id, la " " Hail, early day ! day," a chorus which Moses and Aaron 
may have heard in the temples of Egypt, as the priests of Baal saluted 
the rising sun as he beamed upon the grateful world, and which was 
repeated by the Druids on the remote shores of Western Europe, in now 
desolate Stonehenge, and a thousand other circles, where the sun was 
worshipped as the emblem of the Divinity. The second portion of the 
chorus, "High trolollie lee," is in Celtic, Ai tra la, la, li, which signifies, 
" Hail early day ! Hail bright day ! " The repetition of the word la as 
often as^it was required for the exigencies of the music, accounts for the 
chorus, in the form in which it has descended to modern times. 

" Fal, lal, la," a chorus even more familiar to the readers of old songs, 
is from the same source. Lord Bathurst, afterwards Earl of Dorset, 
wrote, in 1665, the well-known ballad, commencing : 

To all you ladies now on land, 

We men at sea indite, 
But first would have you understand 

How hard it is to write. 
With afal, lal, Id, and afal lal, Id, 

And afal, lal, lal, lal, Id. 

Fal is an abbreviation of Failtel welcome! and la as already noted 
signifies a day. The words should be properly Avritten Failte ! la ! la ! 
The chorus appears in the "Invitation to May," by Thomas Morley, 
1595 : 

Now is the month of Maying, 
When merry lads are playing, 

Fal, la, Id 1 

Each with his bonnie lass, 
Upon the gieeny grass, 

Fal, la, Id ! 

The Celtic or Druidical interpretation of these syllables is, "Welcome 
the day." 


Fed, Zero, loo" appears as a chorus in a song by George Wither 
(15881667) : 

There was a lass a fair one 

As fair as e'er was seen, 
She was indeed a rare one, 

Another Sheba queen. 
But fool, as I then was, 

I thought she loved me true, 
But now alas! she's left me, 

Fal, lero, Icro, loo. 

Here Failte, as in the previous instance, means welcome ; lear (corrupted 
into lero}, the sea ; and luaidh (the d silent), praise ; the chorus of a song 
of praise to the sun when seen rising above the ocean. 

The song of Sir Eglamour, in Mr Chappell's collection, has another 
variety of the Failte or Fal, la, of a much more composite character : 

Sir Eglamour that valiant knight, 

Fal, la, lanky down dilly I 
He took his sword and went to tight, 

Fal, la, lanky down dilly ! 

In another song, called "The Friar in the "Well," this chorus appears 
in a slightly different form : 

Listen awhile and I will tell 
Of a Friar that loved a bonnie lass well, 
Fal- la I IM, M, l&l, la ! tal la, langtre down dilly I 

Lan is the Gaelic for full, and dile for rain. The one version has 
lanky, the other langtrc, both of which are corruptions of the Celtic. 
The true reading is Failte la, Ian, ri, dun, dile, which signifies " Welcome 
to the full or complete day ! let us go to the hill of rain." 

Hey, nonnie, nonnie. " Such unmeaning burdens of songs," says 
Nares in his Glossary, " are common to ballads in most languages." But 
tliis burden is not unmeaning, and signifies " Hail to the noon." Noin 
or noon, the ninth hour was so-called in the Celtic, because at midsummer 
in our northern latitudes it was the ninth hour after sunrise. With the 
Romans, in a more southern latitude, noon was the ninth hour after sun- 
rise, at six in the morning, answering to our three o'clock of the afternoon. 
A song with this burden was sung in. England in the days of Charles the 
Second : 

I am a senseless thing, with a hey ! 
Men call me a king, with a ho? 
For my luxury and ease, 
They brought me o'er the seas, 
With a heigh, nonnie, nonnie, nonnie, no t 

Mr Chappell cites an ancient ballad which was sung to the tune of Hie 
dildo, diL This also appears to be Druidical, and to be resolvable into 
Ai! dile dun dile ! or "Hail to the rain, to the rain upon the hill/' a 
thanksgiving for rain after a drought. 

Trim go trix is a chorus that continued to be popular until the time 
of Charles the Second, when Tom D'Urfrey wrote a song entitled "Under 
the Greenwood Tree," of which he made it the burden. Another appears 
in Allan Ramsay's Tea-table Miscellany : 

The Pope, that pagan full of pride, 

He has us blinded long, 
For where the blind the blind does guide, 

No wonder things go wrong. 


Like prince anel king, he led the ring 

Of all inquitie. 
Hey trix, trim go trix I 

Under the greenwood tree. 

In Gaelic dream or dreim signifies a family, a tribe, the people, a pro- 
cession ; and qu trie, frequently, often, so that these words represent a 
frequent procession of the people to the hill of worship under the green- 
wood tree. 

In Motherwell's "Ancient and Modern Minstrelsy," the ballad of 
Hynd Horn contains a Celtic chorus repeated in every stanza : 

Near Edinburgh was a young child born, 

With a Hey lilli lu, and a how lo Ian ! 
And his name it was called young Hynd Horn, 

And the birk and the broom bloom bounie. 

Here the words are corruptions of aidhe (Hail) ; li, light or colour ; lu, 
small ; ath, again ; lo, day-light ; Ian, full ; and may be rendered " Hail 
to the faint or small light of the dawn " ; and " again the full light of the 
day " (after the sun had risen). 

In the Nursery Rhymes of England, edited by Mr Halliwell for the 
Percy Society, 1842, appears the quatrain : 

Hey dorolot, dorolot, 

Hey dorolay, doralay, 
Hey my bonnie boat bonnie boat, 

Hey drag away drag away. 

The two first lines of this jingle appear to be a- remnant of a Druidical 
chant, and to resolve themselves into, 

Aidhe, doire luclid doire luchd, 
Aidhe doire leigh, doire leigh. 

Aidhe, an interjection, is pronounced Hie ; doire, is trees or woods; luchd, 
people ; and leigh, healing ; and also a physician, whence the old English 
word for a doctor, a leech, so that the couplet means 

Hey to the woods people ! to the woods people ! 

Hey to the woods for healing, to the woods for healing. 

If this translation be correct, the chorus would seem to have been 
sung when the Druids went in search of the sacred mistletoe, which they 
called the " heal all," or universal remedy. 

There is an old Christmas carol which commences 

Nowell 1 Nowell 1 Nowell ! Nowell I 

This is the salutation of the Angel Gabriel. 

Mr Halliwell, in his Archaic Dictionary, says "Nowell was a cry of joy 
properly at Christmas, of joy for the birth of the Saviour." A political 
song in a manuscript of the time of King Henry the Sixth, concludes 

Let us all sing nowelle, 

Nowelle, nowelle, nowelle, nowelle, 

And Cbrist save merry England and spede it well. 

The modern Gaelic and Celtic for Christmas is Nollaiga corruption of 
the ancient Druidical name for holiday from naomh, holy, and la, day, 
whence Naola ! the burden of a Druidical hymn, announcing the fact 
that a day of religious rejoicing had arrived for the people 


A very remarkable example of the vitality of these Druidic chants is 
afforded by the well-known political song of " LilU Burlero" of which 
Lord Macaulay gives the following account in his History of England : 

" Thomas Wharton, , who, in the last Parliament had represented 
Buckinghamshire, and who was already conspicuous both as a libertine 
and as a Whig, had written a satirical ballad on the administration of 
Tyrcomiel. In his little poem an Irishman congratulates a brother Irish- 
man in a barbarous jargon on the approaching triumph of Popery and of 
the Milesian race. The Protestant heir will be excluded. The Pro- 
testant officers will be broken. The great charter and the praters who 
appeal to it will be hanged in one rope. The good Talbot will shower 
commissions on his countrymen, and will cut the throats of the English. 
These verses, which were in no respect above the ordinary standard of 
street poetry, had for burden some gibberish which was said to have 
been used a<s a watchword by the insurgents of Ulster in 1641. The 
verses and the tune caught the fancy of the nation. From one end of 
England to the other all classes were constantly singing this idle rhyme. 
It was especially the delight of the English army. More than seventy 
years after the Revolution a great writer delineated with exquisite skill a 
veteran who had fought at the Boyne and at Namur. One of the 
characteristics of the good old soldier is his trick of whistling Lilliburllero. 
Wharton afterwards boasted that he had sung a king out of three king- 
doms. But, in truth, the success of Lilliburllero was the effect and not the 
cause of that excited state of public feeling which produced the Revolu- 

The mysterious syllables which Lord Macaulay asserted to be gibberish, 
and which in this corrupt form were enough to puzzle a Celtic scholar, 
and more than enough to puzzle Lord Macaulay, who, like the still 
more ignorant Doctor Samuel Johnson, knew nothing of the venerable 
language of the first inhabitants of the British Isles, and of all Western 
Europe, resolve themselves into Li! Li Bcnr ! Lear-a! Buille na la, 
which signify, " Light ! Light ! on the sea, beyond the promontory ! 'Tis 
the stroke (or dawn) of the day ! " Like all the choruses previously 
cited, these words are part ol a hymn to the sun, and entirely astronomical 
and Druidical. 

The syllables Fol de rol which still occur in many of the vulgarest 
songs of the English lower classes, and which were formerly much more 
commonly employed than they are now, are a corruption of Faille reul ! 
or welcome to the star! Fal de red is another form of the corruption which 
the Celtic original has undergone. 

The French, a more Celtic people than the English, have preserved 
many of the Druidical chants. In Beranger's song " Lo Scandale " occurs 
one of them, which is as remarkable for its Druidic appositeness as any 
of the English choruses already cited : 

Aux drames du jour, 
Laissons la morale, 
Sans vivre a la cour 
J'aime le scandale ; 

Lefarira dondaine 

La farira dondc. 


These words resolve themselves into the Gaelic La ! fair ! aire ! dun 
teine ! "Day ! sunrise ! watch it on the hill of fire (the sacred fire)" ; and 
La ! fair ! aire ! dun De ! " Day ! sunrise ! watch it on the hill of God." 

In the Recueil de Chanson's Choisies (La Haye, 1723, vol. i., page 
155), there is a song called Danse Eonde, commencing Lautie jour, pres 
d' Annette of which the burden is Lurelu La rela ! These syllables seem 
to be resolvable into the Celtic : Luadh reul ! Luadh ! (Praise to the 
star ! Praise !) ; or Luath reul Luatli (the swift star, swift !) ; and La ! 
reul ! La ! (the day ! the star ! the day !). 

There is a song of Beranger's of which the chorus is Tra, la trala, 
tra la la, already explained, followed by the words G'est le diabli er 
falbala. Here falbala is a corruption of the Celtic falbh la ! " Farewell 
to the day," a hymn sung at sunset instead of at sunrise. 

Beranger has another song entitled "Le Jour des Morts," which has a 
Druidical chorus : 

Amis, entendez les cloches 
Qui par leurs sons gemissants 
Nous font des bruyans reproches 
Sur nos rires indecents, 
II est des ames en peine, 
Dit le pretre interesse. 

C'est le jour des morts, mirliton, mirlitaine. 
Requiscant in pace ! 

Mir in Celtic signifies rage or fuss ; tonn or Ikonn, a wave ; toinn, waves; 
and tein, fire ; whence those apparently unmeaning syllables may be 
rendered " the fury of the waves, the fury of the fire." 

Tira lira la. This is a frequent chorus in French songs, and is 
composed of the Gaelic words tiorail, genial, mild, warm ; iorrach, quiet, 
peaceable ; and la, day ; and was possibly a Druidical chant, after the 
rising of the sun, resolving itself into 2iorail-iorra la, warm peaceful 

Rumbelow was the chorus or burden of many ancient songs, both 
English and Scotch. After the Battle of Bannockburn, says Fabyan, a 
citizen of London, who wrote the " Chronicles of England," " the Scottes 
inflamed with pride, made this rhyme as followeth in derision of the 
English : 

" Maydens of Englande, sore may ye mourne 
For your lemans ye 've lost at Bannockisburne, 

With heve a lowe I 

"What weeneth the Kyng of Englande, 
So soone to have won S<:otlande, 
With rumbylowe /" 

In " Peebles to the Play " the word occurs 

With heigh and howe, and rumbdowe, 
The young folks were full bauld. 

There is an old English sea song of which the burden is "with a 
rumbelowe." In one more modern, in Deuteromelia 1609, the word 
dance the rumbelow is translated 

Shall we go dance to round, around, 
Shall we go dance the round. 

Greek Rhombos, Rliembo, to spin or -turn round. 


The word is apparently another remnant of the old Druid ical chants 
sung by the priests when they walked in procession round their saered 
circles of Stonehenge and others, and clearly traceable to the Gaelic 
RiomltaV, a circle; riomballach, circuitous; riomhallaclul, circularity. 

The perversion of so many of these once sacred chants to the service 
of the street ballad, suggests the trite remark of Hamlet to Horatio : 

To what base uses we may come at last ! 

Imperial Caesar, dead and turned to clay, 
May stop a hole to keep the winds away. 

The hymns once sung by thousands of deep-voiced priests marching in 
solemn procession from their mystic shrines to salute with music and 
song, and reverential homage, the rising of the glorious orb which cheers 
and fertilises the world, the gift as well as the emblem of Almighty Power 
and Almighty Love, have wholly departed from the recollection of man, 
and their poor and dishonoured relics are spoken of by scholars and philo- 
sophers, as trash, gibberish, nonsense, and an idle farrago of sounds, of 
no more philological value than the lowing of cattle or the bleating of 
sheep. But I trust that all attentive readers of the foregoing pages will 
look upon the old choruses so sadly perverted in the destructive progress 
of time, that demolishes languages as well as empires and systems of 
religious belief with something of the respect due to their immense 
antiquity, and their once sacred functions in a form of worship, which, 
hrhatever were its demerits as compared with the purer religion that has 
taken its place, had at least the merit of inculcating the most exalted 
ideas of the Power, the Love, and the Wisdom of the Great Creator. 


The homes long are gone, but enchantment still lingers, 
These green knolls around, where thy young life began, 

Sweetest and last of the old Celtic singers, 

Bard of the Monadh -dhu\ blithe Donach Ban ! 

Never mid scenes of earth, fairer and grander, 

Poet first lifted his eyelids on light ; 
Free mid these glens, o'er these mountains to wander, 

And make them his own by the true minstrel right. 

Thy home at the meeting and green interlacing 
Of clear- flowing waters and far- winding glens, 

Lovely inlaid in the mighty embracing 

Of sombre pine forests and storm-riven Bens. 


Behind thee these crowding; Peaks, region of mystery, 

Fed thy young spirit with broodings sublime ; 
Each cairn and green knoll lingered round by some history, 

Of the weird under-world, or the wild battle-time. 

Thine were Ben-Starrav, Stop-gyre, Meal-na-ruadh, 
Mantled in storm-gloom, or bathed in sunshine ; 

Streams from Corr-oran, Glash-gower, and Glen-fuadh 
Made music for thee, where their waters combine. 

But over all others thy darling Bendorain 

Held thee entranced with his beautiful form, 
With looks ever-changing thy young fancy storing, 

Gladness of sunshine and terror of storm 

Opened to thee his heart's deepest recesses, 

Taught thee the lore of the red-deer and roe, 
Showed thee them feed on the green mountain cresses, 

Drink the cold wells above lone Doire-chro. 

How did'st tliou watch them go up the high passes 

At sunrise rejoicing, a proud jaunty throng? 
Learn the herbs that they love, the small flow'rs, and hill grasses, 

And made them for ever bloom green in thy song. 

Yet, bard of the wilderness, nursling of naturo, 

Would the hills e'er have taught thee true minstrel art, 

Had not a visage more lovely of feature 

The fountain unsealed of thy tenderer heart? 

The maiden that dwelt by the side of Maam-haarie, 

Seen from thy home-door, a vision of joy, 
Morning and even the young fair-haired Mary 

Moving about at her household employ. 

High on Bendoa and stately Ben-challader, 

Leaving the dun deer in safety to bide, 
Fondly thy doating eye dwelt on her, followed her, 

Tenderly wooed her, and won her thy brida. 

! well for the maiden that found such a lover, 

And well for the poet, to whom Mary gave 
Her fulness of love until, life's journey over, 

She lay down beside him to rest in the grave. 

From the bards of to-day, and their sad songs that dark'n 
The day-spring with doubt, wring the bosom with pain, 

How gladly we fly to the shealings and harken 

The clear mountain gladness that sounds in thy strain. 

On the hill-side with thee is no doubt or misgiving, 
But there joy and freedom, Atlantic winds blow, 

And kind thoughts are there, and the pure simple living 
Of the warm-hearted folk in the glens long ago. 

The muse of old Maro hath pathos and splendour, 

The long lines of Homer majestic'lly roll ; 
But to me Donach Ban breathes a language more tender, 

More kin to the child-heart that sleeps in my soul. 




No. III. JANUARY 1876. 



MR ARNOLD in that handsome, but slightly ambiguous admission of his, that 
the Celts in their intellectual capacity come very near the secret of nature 
and of natural magic, does not seem to imply more in reality than that they 
have a subtler sense of certain natural affinities than their Anglo-Saxon 
brethren have ; that they apprehend more surely when, where, and how 
the truest impress of physical nature occurs on the percipient faculties of 
the soul, than men of a more phlegmatic constitution do ; and that they 
can draw from such intuitions of their own a sort of inspiration, or second- 
sight of nature, comparable to prophecy, which gives their highest poetic 
utterance a rapt enthusiasm and the accuracy of this estimate need not 
be disputed, but, so far as Ossian is concerned, it must be considerably 
extended. To read Ossian as we do, from the text of Macpherson, there 
was another sort of insight, purely scientific, into the mysteries of nature, 
inherited and expressed by him ; a certain acquaintance with her hidden 
powers, and a certain augury of her possible future development, if men 
could only attain to it, far beyond the men rapt enthusiasm of a poet, or 
: the so-called second-sight of a seer. Whether this peculiar faith of his 
was derived by tradition, and if so, from whom ; or whether it was the 
result of practical experiment in his own generation, is foreign for the 
moment to our present inquiry. But that it was relied upon as an 
endowment of the most gifted heroes ; that it was exercised by them in 
extremity, as if to subdue nature from whom they had borrowed it, and 
to wrest the very power of destruction out of her hand ; and that such 
practical conquest was sometimes achieved by them, or is said to have 
been achieved by them, is just as certain as that Macpherson's translation 
is before us now. What we refer to more especially for the present, is 
the secret of extracting or discharging electricity from the atmosphere by 
mechanical means by the thrust of a spear, or of a sword, into the 
bosom of the low-hanging cloud, or lurid vapour, and so dislodging the 
imaginary spirit of evil by which they were supposed to be tenanted. 
Only the very best, and bravest, and wisest could prevail in such conflict 
with nature ; but they did prevail, according to Ossian ; and the weapons 
of their warfare, and the mode of their assault, were precisely similar to 
what an experimentalist in electricity might employ at the present day, 
or to what the Egyptians employed in the days of Moses. We shall not 


now go further "back in the prosecution of this inquiry, but would seriously 
recommend the reader who has any difficulty on the subject to compare, 
at his leisure, the work of Moses on the top of Mount Sinai and elsewhere, 
with an Egyptian " rod " in his hand, and the exploits of Fingal in con- 
flict with the Spirit of Loda on the heights of Hoy, with a sword in his 
hand. There might have been a far-derived and long traditional secret 
connection between the two, most edifying, of at least most curious, to 
investigate ; or they might both have resulted from that sort of intuition 
which only the most gifted of any nation enjoy independently, re-appear- 
ing again in Franklin, and now familiarised to the world. Let those who 
doubt, or who differ on this point, satisfy themselves. What we are now 
concerned to maintain and prove is, that the fact is more than once 
described by Ossian, in circumstances, in situations, and with instrumen- 
talities, which render the allegation of it at least indubitable. In the case 
above referred to, for example, Fingal, challenged and assaulted in a 
thunderstorm by the Spirit of Loda, encounters his antagonist with a 
sword, on the very verge of a cliff overhanging the Atlantic ; and by one 
or two scientific thrusts, with incredible daring, disarms the cloud, 
dissipates the storm, and sends his atmospheric adversary shrieking down 
the wind with such violence that " Innistore shook at the sound ; the 
waves heard it on the deep, and stopped on their course with fear." The 
scene is described in that well-known passage in Carric-'lhura, which 
Macpherson himself characterises as " the most extravagant fiction in all 
Ossian's poems." 

Now the question as regards the authenticity or reliability of this very 
passage, is whether Macpherson understood the meaning of it ; what it 
represented, where the conflict occurred, or how it happened? It has 
been sufficiently demonstrated elsewhere in "Ossian and the Clyde," 
pp. 311-324 that the encounter took place near the celebrated " Dwarfie 
Stone " on the western headland of Hoy in the Orkneys a region more 
remarkable for its sudden electric gatherings and violent atmospheric 
currents than almost any other in Great Britain, and at that particular 
spot so much so, that the very scene described in Ossian has been selected 
by Walter Scott for a similar electrical display in the " Pirate." But of 
this obvious fact, and of all that is connected with it in his own 
translation, Macpherson is so ignorant that he not only does not point it 
out, but does not understand it, and cannot even conjecture where it was. 
His great antagonist Laing is equally at fault on the subject, and by way 
of exposing, as he believes, the dishonesty of Macpherson, endeavours to 
show that in patching up his account Macpherson had mistaken Thurso 
for Thura. Macpherson, in fact, knew nothing either about Thurso or 
Thura even less than Laing did ; and it is only in the work above cited 
that either the scene has been identified, or the encounter explained. 

Here, then, is a question, not of linguistic criticism, but of scientific 
fact of geographical position, of atmospheric agency which should be 
disposed of on its own merits, and which, like many others of the same 
sort, must ultimately transfer the whole inquiry to a much higher field 
than that of syllables and syntax. 

But the description in question, it may be objected, is very much 


exaggerated, and therefore cannot be relied on : which is the very objec- 
tion Macpherson himself urged that it is "the most extravagant fiction in 
all Ossian's poems." But if that was the case in his opinion, how could 
the passage be his own 1 It was easy enough either to remedy or explain 
it, if he could explain it, or not to introduce it. On the other hand, 
when rightly understood, there is no undue exaggeration in the account 
at all not more than might be reasonably expected from a poet of the 
highest sensibility and the most vivid imagination in describing an incom- 
prehensible natural phenomenon ; not more, for example, than in " the 
sound of a trumpet and the voice of words " on Mount Sinai. Still it is 
not the question of descriptive exaggeration, but of scientific fact, that is 
now before us ; and if the whole of the so-called conflict of Fingal with 
the Prince of the Power of the Air on Eoraheid in Hoy was so utterly 
inexplicable to Macpherson, both as to place and character, that he speaks 
of it hopelessly as a story " concerning ghosts," on what principle of 
critical consistency, or of common sense, can he be said to have been the 
author of it ? If the Septuagint translators, for example, had added a note 
of their own on the giving of the Law at Sinai, to the effect that it 
appeared " the most extravagant fiction" to them, at the same time 
transferring, in defiance of their own text, the entire scene from one end 
of the Eed Sea to the other, would any reader in his senses accuse the 
Seventy of having fabricated not only the two chapters in question, but 
the whole Book of Exodus even although the original had been now 

lost ? Their very simplicity and ignorance would have acquitted them. 
Yet Macpherson, in similar circumstances, is to be held guilty, although 

i he could have more easily cleared himself by altering or omitting the 
whole passage, than a man in London could prove by an alibi that he had 
been guilty of no forgery at Inverness or Edinburgh six hours before ! 
But if this hitherto incomprehensible passage in Ossian be genuine then 
the entire poem of Carric-TJmra, which is identified with it in every 
word and syllable from beginning to end, must be genuine also. 

In the same sort of field, but without the addition of supernatural 
agency, we have another scene of scientific import in the War of Inisthona. 
Inisthona, according to Macpherson, was on the coast of Norway he did 
not know where ; Inisthona, according to Laing, was a wilful corruption 
of Inis-owen in Lough Foyle ; Inisthona, in point of fact, was Iceland 
as clearly and distinctly so in Macpherson's own text, as latitude, 
longitude, and physical configuration can make it; far more distinctly 
recognisable than any Ultima Thule of the Eomans. But here, in this 
Inisthona, we have first a fountain surrounded with mossy stones, in a 
grassy vale, at the head of a bay; then a wilderness of half a day's 
journey inland; then a lake at the end of the wilderness, exhaling 
pestilential vapours, called Lake Lauo but no volcano visible as yet : 
and in Iceland we have still the basin of the fountain, surrounded with 
its mossy stones, petrified and dried up by volcanic heat, at the head of 
the bay ; we have still the dreary wilderness beyond it, now scorched and 
blackened, ending in the Plain of Thingvalla, where the King of Denmark 
was entertained more than a twelvemonth ago ; we have still the lake 
beyond that, where it should be, but now relieved of its sulphurous 
vapours by eruptive jets of steam in its neighbourhood ; and besides, we 


have now Mount Hecla in active operation, by whose accumulated fires 
and dreadful discharges, since Ossian's day, the whole island has been 
torn and desolated. Here, therefore, again, the same question of fact 
arises, and must be disposed of by all reasonable inquirers. In this one 
identification we have geography, geology, history, and navigation com- 
bined, beyond Macpherson's own comprehension earthquakes, subter- 
ranean fires, latent volcanic forces ; a beautiful island where there is now 
desolation ; and a warlike people occupying its soil, subject to the Danes 
600 years and more before the Danes themselves are supposed to have 
discovered it. In the face of such a revelation as this, nowhere else to be 
found but in Ossian, what does it signify that the Gaelic text of Inisthona 
has perished? The fact that it survives in English is only a greater 
miracle, for which we are indebted solely to the patience and fidelity of a 
man who has been called a liar and an impostor. 

One more miracle has yet to be added in the same field viz., that 
Lake Lego or Lough Neagh in Ireland, and Lake Lano in Iceland, both 
emitting pestilential vapours, are geographically connected in Ossian with 
subterranean volcanic movements which pass from Ireland, by the west 
coast of Scotland, through the Orkneys to Inisthona ; and thus the latest 
theories of the most accomplished geologists have been anticipated more 
than a hundred years before their announcement, by the work of a man 
who is supposed to have had no original to guide him, and who himself 
had not the remotest idea of what his own words conveyed. 

It remains then, after such illustrations, for those who still deny the 
authenticity of Ossian to declare whether they have ever studied him ; 
and for those who still wrangle about the style of Macpherson's so-called 
Gaelic to decide whether they will continue such petty warfare among 
vowels and consonants, and ill-spelt mediseval legends, when the science, 
the history, the navigation, the atmospheric phenomena, and the impend- 
ing volcanic changes of Western Europe fifteen hundred years ago, are all 
unveiled and detailed, with an accuracy and a minuteness beyond cavil 
or competition, in the matchless English translation before them. Will 
our most erudite grammarians never understand ? Would they abandon 
Genesis, shall we say, because Eloliim and Jehovah are sometimes inter- 
changed in the text ? Can they believe that any Jew, who could concoct 
a book like Genesis, did not also know that Elohim was a plural noun 1 
Can they any more, then, believe that a Celtic man with brains enough 
to fabricate poems like Fingal and Temora did not know that the Gaelic 
name for the sun was feminine ? Can they see no other way of accounting 
for such alleged variations of gender, and number, and case, than by 
forgery, when the very forger himself must have seen them? Or do they 
seriously prefer some letter of the Gaelic alphabet to a law of nature? 
Will they forego the facts of an epoch, for the orthography of a syllable ? 
If so, then the friends of Ossian, who is one great mass of facts, must turn 
once more to the common sense of the public, and leave his etymological 
detractors at leisure to indulge their own predilections, and to entertain 
one another. 

In the present aspect of the controversy, indeed, the only antagonists 
entitled to anything like a patient hearing are the respectable, perhaps 



venerable, geologists and antiquarians who still lodge or linger about 
the Roman Wall ; who talk, with a solemn air, about stern facts ; 
who are also fortified by the authority of Hugh Miller and Smith of 
Jordanhill, and are led on to continuous defeat on their own ground, 
under the auspices of the Scotsman, who knows well how to shut the 
door politely in any man's face who pursues them. These gentlemen are 
far from being either unimportant or unworthy antagonists, if they would 
only speak intelligently for themselves and not allow their credit to be 
usurped by some nameless reviewer in a newspaper, who may know less 
about the whole matter in dispute than they do about Sanscrit. But let 
them have patience. Their favourite haunts, and impregnable strong- 
holds, about Dunglass and Duntocher, shall be investigated with religious 
care ; and the waters of the Clyde, as high as they will honestly flow, 
let in upon them without ceremony or remorse. As for the others, who, 
with no great semblance of either grace or grammar to support them, 
persist in affirming, with point-blank stolid effrontery, that Macpherson 
"must have been an impostor," and that Ossian is a "fudge " they may 
safely be consigned in silence to their legitimate fate. 

(To le Concluded in our next.) 



A health to thee, Stuart Blackie ! 

(I drink it in mountain deiv) 
With all the kindliest greetings 

Of a heart that is leal and true. 
Let happen what happen may 

With others, by land or sea ; 
For me, I vow if I drink at all, 

I'll drink a health to thee. 

A health to tbee, Stuart Blackie ! 

A man of men art thou, 
With thy lightsome step and form erect, 

And thy broad and open brow ; 
With thy eagle eye and ringing voice 

(Which yet can be soft and kind), 
As wrapped in thy plaid thou passest by 

With thy white locks in the wind ! 

I greet thee as poet and scholar ; 

I greet thee as wise and good ; 
I greet thee ever lord of thyself 

No heritage mean, by the rood ! 

I greet thee and hold thee in honour, 
That thou bendest to no man's nod 

Amidst the din of a world ot sin, 
Still lifting thine eye to God ! 

Go, search me the world and find me; 

Go, find me if you can, [and snows, 
From the distant Farces with their mists 

To the green-clad Isle of Man ; 
From John O' Groats to Maidenkirk, 

From far Poolewe to Prague 
Go, find me a better or wiser man 

Than the Laird of Altnacraig. 

Now, here's to the honest and leal and true, 

And here's to the learned and wise, 
And to all who love our Highland glens 

And our Bens that kiss the skies ; 
And here's to the native Celtic race, 

And to each bright-eyed Celtic fair ; 
And here's to the Chief of Altnacraig 

And hurrah ! for the Celtic Chair ! 





A POPULAR writer * of the past generation, in some introductory observa- 
tions to his historical essay, makes the following on Scotland and its 
natives : Considering the limited population and extent of that country, 
it has made a distinguished figure in history. No country in modern 
times has produced characters more remarkable for learning, valour, or 
ability, or for knowledge in the most important arts, both of peace and of 
war ; and though the natives of that formerly independent, and hitherto 
unconquered kingdom, have every reason to be proud of the name of 
Britons, which they have acquired since the Union ; yet they ought not 
to relinquish all remembrance of the martial achievements, and the 
honourable characteristics of their ancestors. Acting on the recommenda- 
tion embodied in the foregoing quotation ; and as the conductors of the 
Celtic Magazine have intimated their intention of making biographies form 
occasionally part of its contents, the following sketch of one who, in his 
day was not the least distinguished among our Highland countrymen, but 
of whose eminent services to his country, little or nothing has ap- 
peared, may prove interesting. Biography is admitted to be one of the 
most interesting sections of literature. We therefore trust that this 
feature in the Magazine will be appreciated. The field will be found 
extensive, inasmuch that, happily for the country, its benefactors have 
been numerous, the record of whose deeds deserve to be remembered in 
this Celtic periodical for the entertainment, and may be, the emulation of 
its readers. 

The details of the life and public services of the gallant gentleman 
now submitted, and deserving record, are supplied partly from 
oral information collected at intervals, and partly from documents 
received by the writer, bub which, although imperfect, it is hoped may be 
acceptable, even at this distance since the lifetime of the subject. 

The absence of any adequate notice of Sir Alan Cameron's services, 
save that in a couple of pages of the Gentleman's Magazine at his death 
(1828) may be ascribed much to his own reticence in supplying informa- 
tion respecting them. Sir John Philliphart and Colonel David Stewart, 
when collecting materials for their respective "Military Annals," expressed 
their regret that Sir Alan's reply to their applications for particulars of 
his life and career was of the most meagre nature. Although in common 
with the majority of other distinguished men, averse to giving publicity 
to the incidents of his life, he was otherwise than reticent with his friends, 
and was never happier than when surrounded by them. His house in Glou- 
cester Place was a rendezvous during many years for his companions in arms, 
and his "Highland cousins" (as he fondly termed them) were always received 
with a genial welcome. Notwithstanding the general absence of his name 

* Sir John Sinclair. 


from unofficial publications, it may be affirmed, without hesitation, that 
in his day few were better known, and there was none whose fame stood 
higher than Ailean an Earrachd. In the army he was held in universal 
popularity, where, in consequence of his familiar habit of addressing the 
Irish and Highland soldiers with the Gaelic salute of " Cia mar tha thu," 
he was known as " Old cia mar tha." Indeed, he is so styled in Mr 
Lever's novel of " Charles O'Malley," where he is represented (vol. 1, 
chap, x.) as one of the friends of General Sir George Dashwood. Another 
writer (Miss Sinclair's " Scotland and the Scotch ") refers to him as " a 
frequent visitor at her father's house in London, and a celebrity of the 
past generation who was said to have been one of the principals in the last 
duel fought with broadswords ; and also known to his friends for the more 
than hearty grasp he shook their hands with." These distinctions, no 
doubt, combined many incidents for their existence. A tragic adventure 
at the outset of his career ; his imprisonment during the American War ; 
and afterwards his services with the Highlanders throughout the wars of 
the period. He was remarkable for the immense size and powerful 
structure of his person. In a verse from one of the many Gaelic songs 
written in honour of Fear an Earrachd, alluding to his majestic form and 
figure when in the Highland costume, the bard says : 

Nuair theid thu 'n uidheam Gaidheil 

Bu mhianu le Ban -High sealladh dhiot, 

Le t-osan is math fiaradh, 

Do chalp air fiamh na gallinne : 

Sporan a bhruic-fhiadhaich, 

Gun chruaidh shnairn riamh ga theannachadh, 

Gur trie thu tarruing iall as 

'S ga riachaidh a measg aineartaich. 

He was the firm friend of the soldier, and considered every man in his 
regiment committed to his personal care. In health he advised them; in 
sickness he saw that their wants were supplied ; and once any became 
disabled, he was incessant in his eiforts till he secured a pension for them. 
Numerous are the stories told of the encounters between Sir Harry Tor- 
rens (Military Secretary to the Commander-in-Chief) and himself for 
his persistent applications for pensions and promotions. These poor fel- 
lows, for whom lie was never tired of interceding, were naturally grateful 
for his fatherly feeling towards them. Such is an outline of the char- 
acteristics of the subject of the following Biographical sketch. 


THE sires of the subject of our memoir were of the tribe of Camerons' 
known as Sliochd Eoyhainn 'ic Eoghainn, and descended directly from the 
parent stock of the chiefs of the clan, to whom they stood next in rela- 
tionship after the Fassiferns. The lands assigned for their occupation, 
and on which they lived from the earliest settlement of the Camerons in 
Lochaber, were within a short distance of the castle of the chiefs, and the 
homestead of Sir Alan's family was named Earrachd, and situated on an 
elevated plateau at the entrance of Gleann Laoidli (Glen Loy) which 
leads off in a westerly direction. It is close to, and seen from, the banks 
of that portion of the Caledonian Canal between Gairlochy and Banavie 


The parents of Alan were Donald Cameron and Marsali (Marjory) 
MacLean (of the family of Drimnin in Morvern). Two incidents 
connected with the infancy of both father and son are peculiarly remark- 
able. The father was an infant in the arms of his mother when she went 
to the gathering place to support the Earl of Mar (1715) to bid 
iarewell to her husband the day the clan left ; and Alan was an infant in 
the arms of his mother when his father marched out with the clan to meet 
Prince Charles at Glenfinnan (1745). The battle of Sheriffmuir ended 
the career of Alan's grandfather, and the disasters on the field of Culloden 
made the father a wanderer from his hearth and home for the next three 
years, while his family were subjected during that time to cruelties and 
indignities, which were a disgrace to men calling themselves the soldiers of 
the king. Domiciliary visits were made at frequent intervals, and on 
every occasion numbers of cattle were driven off the lands for the use of 
the garrison at Fort-William. These spoliations continued for several 
months after the rising was suppressed, and proved ruinous to the poor 
people whose only crime was that they risked their lives in support of the 
claims of one whom they believed to be the rightful heir to the Crown of 
the United Kingdom. Their descendants, a quarter of a century after- 
wards, risked their lives in another cause with equal fidelity and bravery, 
asserting the rights and defending the honour of the British Crown. It 
is known that the Clan Cameron was the first to appear in support of the 
standard of the Prince. The gathering place of the clan was at Drochaid 
Laoidh, and there ten of the twelve tribes promptly answered the Cothionnal 
" Ihigibh a Mann na 'n con 's gheobh sibh feoil." The absentees were, 
the Camerons of Eassifern, and the Camerons of Glen Nevis ; the pro- 
verbial caution of the first forbade their adherence, while the influence of 
the Whig Clan Grant prevailed with the latter. The defection of the 
Fassiferns gave the place of second in command, or Lieutenant of the clan, to 
Cameron of Earrachd (Alan's father). The clan turned out 600, but these 
were considerably augmented a few days afterwards. After a spirited 
address from the chief (the "gentle Lochiel"), the first march of that 
eventful movement commenced with pipers playing and banners flying, 
wending their way with steady demeanour and elastic step up Glen Loy, 
and over the hills that separated them from Glenfinnan. 

Many of the chiefs of Lochiel were, in addition to being men of 
great military renown and martial ardour, shrewd politicians. They 
encouraged other septs to dwell on their lands that they might be 
serviceable to assist them in keeping the jealous or more turbulent spirits 
of their own clansmen in subjection. At any rate, with the Camerons in 
this campaign, a third was composed of Maclachlans, Macmillans, 
Kennedies, Macphees, Mackinnons, &c. 

The Governor of the garrison at Fort-William having heard of the 
intended gathering at Glenfinnan, sent out a company of soldiers by way 
of reconnoitring the proceedings. To avoid observance they followed a 
devious path over the hills, and most opportunely iell in with the 
Camerons, by whom they were surrounded, and without much difficulty 
made prisoners. Besides the eclat of this the first victory, the arms thus 
possessed were of considerable advantage to the Highlanders, most of 
whom were miserably equipped for the exigencies of the campaign. 


A most cordial reception was given to Lochiel and his clan by the 
Prince, after which the Marquis of Tullibardine unfurled the standard, 
amidst unbounded enthusiasm. It was made of Avhite and blue silk. 
Meanwhile the Laird of Keppoch was observed advancing with a 
contingent of 300 of his Macdonells. At the head of the dimuni- 
tive force thus made up, Prince Charles embarked on a contest with 
a power the most formidable in Europe. And the daring of this 
small band was even more conspicuous when they at once determined to 
march direct on the capital of the kingdom. Grlenfinnan, formed not 
unlike an amplii theatre, and easy of access for all parts of the Western 
Highlands, was admirably fitted for the rendezvous. 

The morning march of the little army took the route alongside of an 
arm of the sea named Lochiel (the same from which the chief takes his 
modern title) to Corpach. Here they encamped the first night, afterwards 
continuing their way up the Braes of Lochaber, Blair Athole, and towards 
the City of Perth, which they occupied as an intermediate resting place. 
A few days further march brought them within a short distance of 
Edinburgh. On nearing the capital a halt was made at Duddingston, 
and a council was held, at which it was decided to detach Lochiel's force 
to make the advance and demand the surrender of the city. The 
Camerons having been the first arrivals at Glenfinnan, may have been the 
cause of this selection. Lochiel having received some injury from a 
fall off his horse on the journey, he was unable to accompany his clans- 
men. Cameron of Earrachd consequently succeeded to the command of 
this important mission, and its success is matter of history. The events 
of the '45 are introduced into the career of Alan (the son) somewhat 
irrelevantly, but only to connect the latter with the singular incident that 
sixty-two years afterwards it fell to his lot to have been ordered by Sir 
Arthur Wellesley to take possession of the Citadel of Copenhagen (1807). 
Taking leave now of Prince Charles and his Highlanders, with their 
fortunes and their failures, the narrative of Alan Cameron will proceed 
without further divergence. 


IT was during these turbulent times that Alan Cameron passed his 
infantile years he was four years of age before he saw his father, and, 
although it was hoped that the settlement of the difficulties which had 
existed would favour his career in life, exempt from the toils and strifes 
of war, it was not so ordained, as the narrative will prove. 

Alan was the oldest son of a family of three sons and three daughters, 
some of whom found meet employment subsequently in his regiment. 
Their education was conducted as customary in those days by resident 
tutors from Aberdeen and St Andrews. With one of these Alan, on 
reaching a suitable age, went to the latter University for one or two 
sessions to complete his education. As the oldest son, it was intended 
that on arriving at a certain age he should relieve his father of the care and 
management of the lands and stock, and become the responsible representa- 
tive of the family at home ; while it was arranged that of the other sons, 
Donald was to enter the naval service of the Dutch East India Company, 


and the youngest, Ewan, was to find a commission in one of the Fencible 
Corps of the county of Argyll. But this arrangement was not to be, 
especially as regards the eldest and youngest sons. A circumstance of 
melancholy interest occurred before the former had taken to the succession 
of the farm, or the other had arrived at the age to be an effective officer of his 
regiment, which had the effect of exactly reversing these intentions. The 
occurrence referred to was of a tragical nature, and caused the utmost 
sensation among the families of the district, inasmuch as relationship was 
so general there that whatever brought affliction to the hearth of one 
family, would leave its portion also at the threshold of the others. Alan, 
like other youths, employed much of his juvenile years in the sports of a 
Highland country life fox-hunting, deer-stalking, and fishing for salmon 
on the Lochy ; at all of which he was more than ordinarily successful. The 
nearest house to his father's was that of another Cameron chieftain of a 
considerable tribe (Mac He' Onaich or Sliochd He' Onaich), who had recently 
died of wounds received at Culloden. His widow and children occupied 
the house at Strone. The lady is reputed to have been very handsome, and 
would apparently answer Donachaclh Ban's description of Isabel og an or 
fhuilt bhuidhe, leastways, to borrow a word from the Cockney she was 
styled par excellance, a Bhanntrach Ruad/i. Alan, like a friendly kins- 
man, was most generous in sharing the successes of his gun and rod with 
the widowed lady, for which, no doubt, she expressed her acknowledg- 
ments to the youthful sportsman. The course of this commendable 
neighbourship was rather unexpectedly interrupted by some words of 
misunderstanding which occurred between Alan and a gentleman (also a 
Cameron) who was closely related to the widow's late husband. He was 
known as Fear Mlwrslieirlicli ; had been out in the '45 when quite a 
youth, and escaped to Holland, from which he had only returned a few 
months previous to the incident of this narrative. Contemporaries spoke of 
him as being most accomplished, and of gallant bearing. The- real nature 
of the dispute has not descended sufficiently authentic to justify more 
minute reference than that rumour assigned it to have been an accusation 
that Alan was imprudently intimate with the handsome widow of Strone 
(a Bkanntrach Ruadh}. The delicate insinuation was resented by Alan 
in language probably more plain than polite. Mr Cameron was Alan's 
senior by some twenty years or so, but notwithstanding this, his high spirit 
could not brook the rough retort of the accused ; and, much to Alan's 
confusion, the result was that he received a peremptory demand to 
apologise or arrange a meeting for personal satisfaction. As he declined 
to return the one, he was obliged to grant the desperate alternative. 
Eeading this account of men going out to engage in personal combat for 
a cause so small, will lead us to consider that such a result ought to have 
been prevented by the interposition of friends. But it must not be over- 
looked that the customs of the times are very much ameliorated from what 
prevailed in those days (1772). It is probable that even then if the 
management of the affair had been confided to skilful diplomatists the 
meeting might have been averted. Friends of such conciliating habits 
were either not at hand, or they were not consulted ; and, as men equal 
in high spirits, the principals could not volunteer any compromise. Alan's 
chief anxiety was how to keep the event secret from his parents and family, 


therefore, lie quietly repaired to a relative to request his attendance 
the following morning as his friend for the occasion. It is said that this 
gentleman used his utmost powers of dissuasion, although unsuccessful 
determination had, in the interval of a few hours, become too settled for 
alteration. Alan, as the challenged, was, according to duelling etiquette, 
entitled to the choice of weapons and place of meeting. Although the 
pistol had in a measure superseded the rapier in England, the broadsword 
remained the favourite weapon in the north when required for the purpose 
of personal satisfaction. Highlanders had always a preference for the 
weapon named by Ossian An Lann tanna and by the modern bards 
lagha nan Arm. Alan decided on making choice of the steel blade, and 
named a certain obscure spot on the banks of the Lochy for the meeting 
on the following day at the grey hour of the morning. His difficulty 
now was how to get possession of one of these implements of war without 
exciting suspicion or inquiries. They numbered more than one in the 
armory of every Highland household, and in the case of those in las 
father's house they were preserved with a care due to articles which had 
been often used with effect in the past. Among them was one which had 
been out in the campaigns of 1689 (Dundee's), 1715 (Mar's), and in 
1745-6. It was of Spanish manufacture, and remarkable for the length 
and symmetry of its blade, in consequence of which it received the 
sobriquet of Rangaire Riabhach.* In his failure to tind the keys of the 
arms depository, he bethought him to make a confident and enlist the 
sympathies of an elderly lady, who had been a member of the family since 
the days of his childhood. The aged Amazon not only promised her aid, 
but highly approved, and even encouraged, the spirit of her youthful 
relative. Having access to the keys of the armory, the Rangaire was 
soon in Alan's hands, and with it he repaired to the place appointed, " to 
vindicate his own honour and give satisfaction to his antagonist." 

The time of year when this event took place was in the early days of 
autumn. Daylight and the combatants arrived on the scene together. 
Vague particulars of the preliminaries between them have been variously 
retailed, but they are not necessary to the narrative, and therefore not 
referred to. The fact that the elder Cameron was reputed to be a skilled 
swordsman, also that it was not the first time he had met his foes in the field, 
may have had some ellect on the nerves of his younger opponent, but 
there was no outward indication of it. The home-taught countryman, 
however, must have felt that he was standing face to face with no ordinary 
opponent. Alan, like the generality of young men, had such practice in the 
use of the weapon as to make him acquainted with the cuts and guards. 
The superiority of Mr Cameron was at first apparent and proved, inasmuch 
as he not only kept himself for some time uninjured, but inflicted a severe 
cut on Alan's left arm. This blow may be said to have brought the con- 
flict to its sudden and fatal termination. The pain, together with the 
humiliation, roused Alan's wrath to desperation. It became manifest to 
the only two friends present, that the life of one, if not of the two com- 
batants, would be sacrificed ; but they found themselves quite powerless 
to restrain the rage of the wounded principal. Their anticipations were 

* Brown or briudled wrangler. 


not long in "being confirmed. The elder Cameron fell from a blow 
delivered on the head by the powerful arm of his opponent. The force 
may be imagined when it is stated that it was what is known as No. 7 
cut, and that the wounded man's sword in defending was forced into his 
own forehead. He lived just long enough to reach Strone house a mile 
or so distant. It is impossible, except to those who have experienced a 
similar trial, to estimate the state of feeling such a painful scene produced 
on the three now remaining on the field. Time, however, was not to be 
trifled with, for, although, there were no "men in blue" to make prisoners 
of the breakers of the peace ; yet the vanquished combatant had friends 
who would not hesitate to take life for life. Alan's achates at once thought 
of that probability, or of revenge in some form. They, therefore, hurried 
him away from the field and across the river Lochy. A short consultation 
decided that he should remove himself entirely from the Cameron country 
for the time being. This was concurred in by Alan, who girded his clay- 
more and determined on making direct for his uncle's house in Morvern 
(Maclean of Drimnin) distant about sixty miles, where he arrived with- 
out resting or drawing breath. The advice of his counsel, and the 
decision arrived at, proved to be not unnecessary, as the sequel proved. 
The fallen man was one of the cadets of a numerous tribe, and they would 
naturally, in accordance with the habit of the times, seek to avenge the 
death of their kinsman. They sought for the slayer of their friend with 
diligence and zeal. Their search was far and wide ; but, fortunately for 
the fugitive, and thanks to the vigilance of his relatives, his pursuers 
were defeated in their attempt to capture their intended victim. The 
consternation of the uncle (Drimnin), on learning the cause of his 
nephew's sudden visit, may be surmised ; but what was done could not 
be undone. When the Laird was satisfied with Alan's version, that 
Morsheirlich fell in fair fight, brought about by himself, his displeasure 
somewhat relented. Affection and sympathy mingled in the old Laird's 
bosom, and he decided to befriend his unfortunate nephew at all hazard. 
It was conjectured that the search of the avengers would be directed 
towards this district, where Alan's relatives were numerous, and where 
he would likely betake himself in this emergency. That he might elude 
his pursuers with greater certainty, the Laird of Drimnin had him 
escorted across the Sound of Mull by some trusty kinsmen, to the charge 
of another Maclean (Pennycross), and with whom he was to remain until 
he received further instructions respecting his future destination. The 
grief and revenge of Morsheirlich' s friends had not yet subsided, and 
would not, for years to come, so that Alan would be unwise to return to 
his native home, or place himself in their path. 

The Collector of His Majesty's Customs at the Port of Greenock was 
an immediate relation to the Laird of Drimnin by marriage, and a 
correspondence was entered on with him with the view of ascertaining his 
opinion as to what was best to be done for Alan. Negotiations occupied 
more time for their conduct at that time than in the present day ; 
at any rate nothing satisfactory was proposed to Alan, so that for a couple 
of years he continued wandering up and down the island of Mull, and 
through the glens of Morvern, entirely under the guidance of his uncle. 
At last a request came from the Collector to send the fugitive to him, 


that he might find employment for him in his own office. The uncle 
decreed, rather against Alan's grain, that the offer of clerkship should 
meanwhile be accepted. He remained in this occupation for several 
months, until he received an invitation from another friend residing in 
Leith. This gentleman wrote to say that there was now an opportunity 
of giving him service in an enterprise likely to be congenial to " a man of 
metal" such as he conceived Alan to be. The war of American In- 
dependence had commenced, and the employment which the Leith friend 
proposed was that Alan should join a privateer which was fitting out in 
an English port, armed with letters of marque, to capture and destroy 
American shipping. Alan answered the invitation by repairing to Leith 
in person with all speed. The nature of the service offered, however, did 
not accord with his ideas of honourable warfare ; in fact, he considered it 
more akin to piracy, and not such as a gentleman should take part in. 
He had no affection, he said, for clerkship, but he had still less for the 
life of a pirate. 

While Alan was oscillating in this manner, he learned that another 
relative of his mother's, Colonel Alan Maclean of Torloisk, who had 
emigrated to one of the North American colonies some years previously, 
had received a commission to embody a regiment of those of his country- 
men who had become residents on free-grants of land at the same time 
with himself. To this gentleman Alan decided on going. Soldiering 
was more genial to his nature than marine freebooting, and he calculated 
on Colonel Maclean's assistance in that direction. (This Colonel Maclean's 
grand-daughter was Miss Clephane Maclean, afterwards Marchioness of 
Northampton.) Arrived in America, Alan was received kindly by his 
relative, and being a soldier himself he viewed the past event in Alan's life 
as of a nature not entirely without a certain amount of recommendation 
to a wanderer in search of fame. Alan was not long in the country 
when Colonel Maclean added him to his list of volunteers, in a body, which 
was soon afterwards enrolled as the " Eoyal Highland Emigrant Corps." 

(To be Continued). 

A. R. wants to know "the best standard for Gaelic orthography ? ' 
CABAK-FEIDH would like to know if any of Grant's [Bard Mor an t-Slagain] 
Poems were ever published ? If so, where ? and by whom ? It is believed 
many of his pieces, which were famous in his day, are still known in the 
Lochbroom and Dundonnell districts. Cabar requests that any of the 
readers of the Celtic Magazine to whom any of the poems are known would 
kindly forward them for publication. Grant knew more Ossianic poetry than 
Tiy man of his day 1746 to 1842. Any information regarding him would 
be of interest. 

MACAOIDH enquires to what sept of the clan the famous pipers the 
Mackays of Gairloch belonged, and how did they find their way to that 
part of the country ? Are there any of their descendants still living in this 
country or in North British America, where the last famous piper of the race 
emigrated? The "Blind Piper" and bard was the moat famous of this 
remarkable family, and was a pupil in the celebrated College of the 
Macrimmon's in Skye. 

REPLY TO " GLENGARKY'S " QUERY. There are words in English to 
Piobaireachd Mhic Ramiil or Chilliechriost, and they, with particulars of 
the occasion on which the tune was composed, will appear in th next in- 
stalment of the HIGHLAND CEILIDH in the Celtic Magazine. 





ON the conclusion of the " Spell of Cadboll" Norman received the hearty 
and unanimous congratulations of the circle. The frail old bard, pulling 
himself together, got up, went across the room, and shook him heartily 
with both hands. This special honour was a most unusual one. It was 
clear that Alastair was just in the mood when a little persuasion would 
suffice to get him to recite one of his own compositions. This he was 
generally very chary of doing, but Norman getting the hint from one of his 
immediate neighbours to ask the bard a special favour on this occasion 
at once begged the honour of hearing one of the bard's composi- 
tions from his own lips. The venerable old man bent himself forward, 
began to work the fingers of both hands and beat time on his leg as 
on a chanter, humming a quiet cronan. This was his usual practice when 
composing or reciting poetry, and it was at once seen that he would 
consent. " I will give you," says he, " a Marbh-rann, or Elegy which 
no one ever heard, and which I have recently composed to the late 
' Bailie Hector' of Dingwall, a son of my late esteemed friend 'Letterewe,' 
on condition that you, Sir, will give us another story when I am done. 

Norman at once agreed, and the bard commenced as follows : 




AIR FONN " 'S mi 'm shuidhe 'TO 'onar." 

O 's truagh an sgeula tha 'n diugh ri fheutainn, 

Thug gal air ceudan a measg an t-sluaigh, 

Mu Eachainn gleusta 'bha fearail, feumail, 

Gun da ghlac an t-eug thu a threun-laoich chruaidh : 

'S mor bron do Chinnidh, mar coin na tuinne 

Tha 'n cronan duilich 's an ullaidh uath 

'S bho nach duisg an gair thu, 's nach cluinn thu 'n gailich, 

Se chlaoidh do chairdean do bhaa cho luath. 

Tha do chairdean cianal, tha bron da'lionadh, 

Tha 'n inntinn pianail bho n' ghlac thu 'm bas, 

'S iad a ghnath fuidh thiorachd 's nach faigh iad sgial ort, 

Ach thu bhi iosal an ciste chlar 

Bu tu ceann na riaghailt 'us lamh na fialachd, 

A sheoid gun fhiaradh, gun ghiamh gun sgath, 

'Sa nis bho 'n thriall thu, 's sinn Ian dha d' iargan, 

'S nach eil 's na criochan fear a lionas d' ait. 

Bha d' aite miaghail 's gach cas an iarrt' thu, 
A reir mo sgiala bu teirc do luach : 
Bha thu pairteach, briathrach, ri ard 's ri iosal, 
Gun chas gun dioghaltas air an tuath. 


Bha foghlura Tarl' agad 's ciall fear riaghlaidh 
Bu mhor an diobhail nach da liath do ghruag, 
'S arm a bharc an t-aog ort mas d' thainig aois ort, 
A ghnuis bha faoilteach air chaochladh snuaidh. 

Bha do shnuadh cho aillidh 's nach fhaodainn s' aireamh, 

Mar rbs a gharaidh ri maduinn dhriuchd, 

Bu chuachach, faineach, do ghruag an caradh 

Mar theudan clarsaich an' inneal ciuil 

Do ghruaidh dhearg dhathte, do shuil mar dhearcag, 

Fuidh ghnuis na maise bu tapaidh surd 

Rasg aotram, geanach, bho 'in b'fhaoilteach sealladh 

Beul muirneach tairis, 's dead thana dhluth. 

! 's dluth bha buaidhean a stri mu'n cuairt duit, 

Cha b'eol dhomh suairceas nach robh 'do chre 

Bha thu ciallach, narach, 's tu briathrach, pairteach, 

'S tu rianail, daimheil, ri d' chairdean fheinj: 

Bu tu firean, fallain, bha rioghail, geanach, 

'Sa leoghann tapaidh bu ghlaine bens ; 

Bhiodh min 'us gairg' air, bhiodh sith 'us fearg air, 

Nuair chit' air falbh e bhiodh colg na cheum. 

Se do cheum bu bhrisge 's bu shubailt iosgaid, 

Bha moran ghibhtean ri d' leasraidh fought. 

Bu tu glas nan Gaidheal, bho mhuir gu braighe 

Gu crioch Chinntaile 's na tha bho thuath. 

O ! 's lionmhor oigfhear tha 'n diugh gu bronach 

A fasgadh dhorn, 'us ruith-dheoir le ghruaidh, 

'Bhiodh dana, sgaiteach, gun sgath gun ghealtachd, 

Na 'm bu namhaid pears' bheireadh Eachainn bh' uainn. 

Bha thu mor an onair, bu mhor do mholadh, 
Bu mhor do shonas, 's tu gun dolaidh gibht' 
Bu mhor a b'fhiach thu, bu mhor do riaghailt, 
Bu mhor do mhiagh ann an ciall 's an tuigs', 
Bu mhor do churam, bu mhor do chuisean, 
Bu mhor do chliu ann an cuirt 'sa meas, 
Bu mhor do stata, 's bu mhor do nadur, 
'S cha mhor nach d'fhag thu na Gaidheil brist'. 

! 's priseil, laidir, a ghibhte 'dh-fhag sinn 

'S mios'da Ghaeltachd bas an t-seoid, 

Tha Mhachair tursach bho n' chaidh an uir ort, 

'S tu dh-fhuasgladh cuis do gach cuirt mu bhord, 

Bha 'Ghalldachd deurach ri cainnt ma d' dheighinn, 

Gu ruig Dun-eidin nan steud 's nan cleoc, 

'S cha ghabhainn gealtachd, air son a chantuinn, 

Gur call do Bhreatuinn nach eil thu beo. 

'S tu chraobh a b'aillidh bha 'n tus a gharaidh 

'S i ur a fas ann fuidh bhlath 's fuidh dhos, 

O ! 's truagh a dh-fhag thu ma thuath na Gaidheil 

Mar uain gun mhathair ni'n sgath ri frois, 

'S tu b'urr' an tearnadh bho chunnart gabhaidh, 

'S an curaidh laidir, chuireadh spairn na tost, 

Tha 'n tuath gu craiteach, 's na h-uaislean casai, 

'S bho 'n chaidh am fad ort 's truagh gair nam bochd. 


"Ma ta 's math sibh fhein Alastair Bhuidhe ; 's grinn comhnard a 
bhardachd a th'air a mharbhrainn, ach cha 'n eil i dad nasfhearr na tlioill 
brod a Ghaidlieil agus am fior dhuin' uasal dha'n d'rinn sibh i," arsa 
Ruairidh Mor. (Well done yourself, Alastair Buidhe, the composition 
of the Elegy is beautifully elegant and even, "but not any better than the 
memory of the best of Highlanders and the truest of gentlemen, to whom 
you composed it, deserved, said Big Kory). This was the general verdict 
of the circle. 

Norman was now called upon to fulfil his part of the arrangement, 
which he promptly did by giving the Legend, of which the following is a 
translation : 


THE ancient Chapel of Cilliechriost, in the Parish of Urray, in Ross, 
was the scene of one of the bloodiest acts of ferocity and revenge 
that history has recorded. The original building has long since dis- 
appeared, but the lonely and beautifully situated burying-ground is still 
in use. The tragedy originated in the many quarrels which arose 
between the two chiefs of the North Highlands Mackenzie of Kintail 
and Macdonald of Glengarry. As usual, the dispute was regarding land, 
but it were not easy to arrive at the degree of blame to which each party 
was entitled, enough that there was bad blood between these two paladdins 
of the north. Of course, the quarrel was not allowed to go to sleep for 
lack of action on the part of their friends and clansmen. The Macdonalds 
having made several raids on the Mackenzie country, the Mackenzies 
retaliated by the spoiling of Morar with a large and overwhelming force. 
The Macdonalds, taking advantage of Kenneth Mackenzie's visit to Mull 
with the view to influence Maclean to induce the former to peace, 
once more committed great devastation in the Mackenzie country, under 
the leadership of Glengarry's son Angus. From Kintail and Lochalsh 
the clan of the Mackenzies gathered fast, but too late to prevent Macdonald 
from escaping to sea with his boats loaded with the foray. A portion of 
the Mackenzies ran to Eilean-donan, while another portion sped to the 
narrow strait of the Kyle between Skye and the mainland, through which 
the Macdonalds, on their return, of necessity, must pass. At Eilean-donan 
Lady Mackenzie furnished them with two boats, one ten-oared and one 
four-oared, also with arrows and ammunition. Though without their 
chief, the Mackenzies sallied forth, and rowing towards Kyleakin, lay 
in wait for the approach of the Macdonalds. The first of the Glengarry 
boats they allowed to pass unchallenged, but the second, which was the 
thirty-two-oared galley of the chief was furiously attacked. The unpre- 
pared Macdonalds rushing to the side of the heavily loaded boat, swamped 
the craft, and were all thrown into the sea, where they were despatched 
in large numbers, and those who escaped to the land were destroyed "by 
the Kintail men, who killed them like sealchagan" * The body of young 
Glengarry was secured and buried in the very door-way of the 
Kirk of Kintail, that the Mackenzies might trample over it whenever 
they went to church. Time passed on, Donald GruamacJi, the old 

* Snails. 


chief, died ere he could mature matters for adequate retaliation of the 
Kyle tragedy and the loss of his son Angus. The chief of the clan was 
an infant in whom the feelings of revenge could not be worked out by 
action ; but there was one, his cousin, who was the Captain or Leader in 
whom the bitterest thoughts exercised their fullest sway. It seems now 
impossible that such acts could have occurred, and it gives one a startling 
idea of the state of the country then, when such a terrible instance of 
private vengeance could have been carried out so recent as the begin- 
ning of the seventeenth century, without any notice being taken of it, 
even, in those days of general blood and rapine. Notwithstanding the 
hideousness of sacrilege and murder, which, certainly, in magnitude of 
atrocity, was scarcely ever [equalled, there are many living, even in 
the immediate neighbourhood, who are ignorant of the cause of the 
act. Macranuil of Lundi, captain of the clan, whose personal prowess was 
only equalled by his intense ferocity, made many incursions into the 
Mackenzie country, sweeping away their cattle, and otherwise doing them 
serious injury ; but these were but preludes to that sanguinary act on 
which his soul gloated, and by which he hoped effectually to avenge the 
loss of influence and property of Avhich his clan were deprived by the 
Mackenztes, and more particularly wash out the records of death of his 
chief and clansmen at Kyleakin. In order to form his plans more effectu- 
ally he wandered for some time as a mendicant among the Mackenzies in 
order the more successfully to fix on the best means and spot for his re- 
venge. A solitary life offered up to expiate the manes of his relatives was 
not sufficient in his estimation, but the life's blood of such a number of his 
bitterest foemen, and an act at which the country should stand aghast 
was absolutely necessary. Returning home he gathered together a number 
of the most desperate of his clan, and by a forced march across the hills 
arrived at the Church of Cillechriost on a Sunday forenoon, when it was 
filled by a crowd of worshippers of the clan Mackenzie. Without a 
moments delay, without a single pang of remorse, and while the song of 
praise, ascended to heaven from fathers, mothers, and children, he 
surrounded the church with his band, and with lighted torches set fire to 
the roof. The building was thatched, and while a gentle breeze from the 
east fanned the fire, the song of praise, mingled with the crackling of the 
flames, until the imprisoned congregation, becoming conscious of their 
situation, rushed to the doors and windows, where they were met by a 
double row of bristling swords. Now, indeed, arose the wild wail of 
despair, the shrieks of women, the infuriated cries of men, and the 
MJplees screaming of children, these mingled with the roaring of the 
flames appalled even the Macdonalds, but not so Allan Dubh. " Thrust 
them back into the flames " cried he, " for he that suffers ought to escape 
alive from Cilliechriost shall bo branded as a traitor to his clan " ; and 
they were thrust back or mercilessly hewn down within the narrow porch, 
until the dead bodies piled on each other opposed an uns'irmountable 
barrier to the living. Anxious for the preservation of their young 
children, the scorching mothers threw them from the windows in the vain 
hope that the feelings of parents awakened in the breasts of the Macdonalds 
would induce them to spare them, but not so. At the command of 
Allan of Lundi they were received on the points of the broadswords 



of men in whose breasts mercy had no place. It was a wild and 
fearful sight only witnessed "by a wild and fearful race. During 
the tragedy they listened with delight to the piper of the band, who 
marching round the burning pile, played to drown the screams of the 
victims, an extempore pibroch, which has ever since been distinguished 
as the Avar tune of Glengarry under the title of " Cilliechriost." 
The flaming roof fell upon the burning victims, soon the screams 
ceased to be heard, a column of smoke and flame leapt into the 
air, the pibroch ceased, the last smothered groan of existence ascended 
into the still sky of that Sabbath morning, whispering as it died away that 
the agonies of the congregation were over. 

East, west, north, and south looked Allan Dubh Macranuil. Not a 
living soul met his eye. The fire he kindled had destroyed, like the spirit 
of desolation. Not a sound met his ear, and his own tiger soul sunk within 
him in dismay. The Parish of Cilliechriost seemed swept of every living 
thing. The fearful silence that prevailed, in a quarter lately so thickly 
peopled, struck his followers with dread ; for they had given in one hour 
the inhabitants of a whole parish, one terrible grave. The desert which 
they had created filled them with dismay, heightened into terror by the 
howls of the masterless sheep dogs, and they turned to fly. Worn 
out with the suddenness of their long march from Glengarry, and 
with their late fiendish exertions, on their return they sat down to rest 
on the green face of Glenconvinth, which route they took in order to 
reach Lundi through the centre of Glenmorriston by Urquhart. Before 
they fled from Cillechriost Allan divided his party into two, one passing 
by Inverness and the other as already mentioned ; but the Macdonalds were 
not allowed to escape, for the flames had roused the Mackenzies as 
effectually as if the fiery cross had been sent through their territories. A 
youthful leader, a cadet of the family of Seaforth, in an incredibly short 
time, found himself surrounded by a determined band of Mackenzies eager 
for the fray ; these were also divided into two bodies, one commanded by 
Murdoch Mackenzie of Eedcastle, proceeded by Inverness, to follow 
the pursuit along the southern side of Loch Ness; another headed 
by Alexander Mackenzie of Coul, struck across the country from Beauly, 
to follow the party of the Macdonalds who fled along the northern 
side of Loch Ness tinder their leader Allan Dubh Macranuil. The 
party that fled by Inverness were surprised by Eedcastle in a public- 
house at Torbreck, three miles to the west of the town where they 
stopped to refresh themselves. The house was set on fire, and they 
all thirty-seven in number suffered the death which, in the earlier 
part of the day, they had so wantonly inflicted. The Mackenzies, under 
Coul, after a few hours' hard running, came up with the Macdonalds as 
they sought a brief repose on the hills towards the burn of Aultsigh. 
There the Macdonalds maintained an unequal conflict, but as guilt only 
brings faint hearts to its unfortunate votaries they turned and again fled 
precipitately to the burn. Many, however, missed the ford, and the 
channel being rough and rocky several fell under the swords of the 
victorious Mackenzies. The remainder, with all the speed they could 
make, held on for miles lighted by a splendid and cloudless moon, and 
when the rays of the morning burst upon them, Allan Dubh Macranuil 


and his party were seen ascending the southern ridge of Glen Urquhart 
with the Mackenzies close in the rear. Allan casting an eye behind him 
and observing the superior numbers and determination of his pursuers, 
called to his band to disperse in order to confuse his pursuers and 
so divert the chase from himself. This being done, he again set forward 
at the height of his speed, and after a long run, drew breath to 
reconnoitre, when, to his dismay, he found that the avenging Mackenzies 
were still upon his track in one unbroken mass. Again he divided his 
men and bent his flight towards the shore of Loch .Ness, but still he saw 
the foe with redoubled vigour, bearing down upon him. Becoming fear- 
fully alive to his position, he cried to his few remaining companions again 
to disperse, until they left him, one by one, and he was alone. Allan, who 
as a mark of superiority and as Captain of the Glengarry Macdonalds, 
always wore a red jacket, was easily distinguished from the rest of his 
clansmen, and the Mackenzies being anxious for his capture, thus easily 
singled him out as the object of their joint and undiverted pursuit. 
Perceiving the sword of vengeance ready to descend on his head he took 
a resolution as desperate in its conception as unequalled in its accomplish- 
ment. Taking a short course towards the fearful ravine of Aultsigh he 
divested himself of his plaid and buckler, and turning to the leader of the 
Mackenzies, who had nearly come up with him, beckoned him to follow, 
then with a few yards of a run he sprang over the yawning chasm, never 
before contemplated without a shudder. The agitation of his mind at the 
moment completely overshadowed the danger of the attempt, and being 
of an athletic frame he succeeded in clearing the desperate leap. The 
young and reckless Mackenzie, full of ardour and determined at all 
hazards to capture the murderer followed ; but, being a stranger to the real 
width of the chasm, perhaps of less nerve than his adversary, and certainly 
not stimulated by the same feelings, he only touched the opposite brink 
with his toes, and slipping downwards he clung by a slender shoot of 
hazel which grew over the tremendous abyss. Allan Dubh looking round 
on his pursuer and observing the agitation of the hazel bush, immediately 
guessed the cause, and returning with the ferocity of a demon who had 
succeeded in getting his victim into his fangs, hoarsely whispered, "I have 
given your race this day much, I shall give them this also, surely now 
the debt is paid," when cutting the hazel twig with his sword, the intrepid 
youth was dashed from crag to crag until he reached the stream below, 
a bloody and misshapen mass. Macranuil again commenced his flight, 
but one of the Mackenzies, who by this time had come up, sent a musket 
p^ot after him, by which he was wounded, and obliged to slacken his 
pace. None of his pursuers, however, on coming up to Aultsigh, dared 
or dreamt of taking a leap which had been so fatal to their youthful 
leader, and were therefore under the necessity of taking a circuitous route 
to gain the other side. This circumstance enabled Macranuil to increase 
the distance between him and his pursuers, but the loss of blood, 
occasioned by bis wound, so weakened him that very soon he found his 
determined enemies were fast gaming on him. Like an infuriated wolf he 
hesitated whether to await the undivided attack of the Mackenzies or 
plunge into Loch Ness and attempt to swim across its waters. The 
shouts of his approaching enemies soon decided him, and he sprung into 


its deep and dark wave. Refreshed by its invigorating coolness he soon 
swam beyond the reach of their muskets ; but in his weak and wounded 
state it is more than probable he would have sunk ere he had crossed 
half the breadth had not the firing and the shouts of his enemies proved 
the means of saving his life. Eraser of Foyers seeing a numerous band 
of armed men standing on the opposite bank of Loch Ness, and observing 
a single swimmer struggling in the water, ordered his boat to be launched, 
nd pulling hard to the individual, discovered him to be his friend Allan 
Dubh, with whose family Eraser was on terms of friendship. Macranuil, 
thus rescued remained at the house of Foyers iintil he was cured of his 
wound, but the influence and the Clan of the Macdonalds henceforth 
declined, while that of the Mackenzies surely and steadily increased. 

The heavy ridge between the vale of Urquhart and Aultsigh where 
Allan Dubh Macranuil so often divided his men, is to this day called 
Uonadh-a-leumanaich or " the Moor of the Leaper." 

(To be Continued.) 


" How are the mighty fallen /" 

Can this be the land where of old heroes flourished ? 
Can this be the land of the sons of the blast ? 
Gloom-wrapt as a monarch whose greatness hath perished, 
Its beauty of loneliness speaks of the past : 
Tell me ye green valleys, dark glens, and blue mountains, 
Where now are the mighty that round ye did dwell ] 
Ye wild-sweeping torrents, and woe-sounding fountains, 
Say, is it their spirits that wail in your swell 1 

Oft, oft have ye leaped when your children of battle, 
With war-bearing footsteps rushed down your dark crests ; 
Oft, oft have ye thundered with far-rolling rattle, 
The echoes of slogans that burst from their breasts : 
Wild music of cataracts peals in their gladness, 
Hoarse tempests still shriek to the clouds lightning-tired, 
Dark shadows of glory departed, in sadness 
Still linger o'er ruins where dwelt the inspired. 

The voice of the silence for ever is breaking 

Around the lone heaths of the glory-sung braves ; 

Dim ghosts haunt in sorrow, a land all forsaken, 

And pour their mist tears o'er the heather-swept graves : 

Can this be the land of the thunder-toned numbers 

That snowy bards sung in the fire of their bloom ? 

Deserted and blasted, in death's silent slumbers, 

It glooms o'er my soul like the wreck of a tomb. 





FOLK-LORE a word of recent importation from the German is a big 
word, and Highland Folk-Lore is a big subject, so big and comprehensive 
that not one Magazine article, but a many-chaptered series of Magazine 
articles would be necessary ere one could aver that he had done his 
" text " anything like justice. On the present occasion, therefore, we do 
not pretend to enter into the heart of a subject so extensive and many- 
sided : we shall content ourselves with a little scouting and skirmish- 
ing, so to speak, along the borders of a territory which it is possible we 
may ask the readers at some future time to explore along with us more at 
large. A few of the many proverbs, wisdom words, and moral and 
prudential sentences in daily use shall, in clerical phrase, meantime form 
"the subject-matter of our discourse." Nor must the reader think that the 
subject is in any wise infra dignitate, unworthy, that is, or undignified. 
Of the world-renowned Seven Wise Men of Greece, five at least attained 
to all their eminence and fame no otherwise than because they were the 
cunning framers of maxims and proverbs that rightly interpreted were 
calculated to advance and consolidate the moral and material welfare of 
the nation around them. Of the remaining two, it is true that one was 
an eminent politician and legislator, and the other a natural philosopher 
of the first order ; but it is questionable if either of them would have 
been considered entitled to their prominent place in the Grecian Pleiades 
of Wise Men had they not been proverb-makers and utterers of brief but 
pregnant " wisdom-words " as well. Even Solomon, the wisest of men, 
was less celebrated as a botanist and naturalist, though he spake of trees, 
from the cedar that is in Lebanon, even unto the hyssop that springeth 
out of the wall ; and of beasts, and of fowls, and of creeping things, and of 
fishes less celebrated even as a lyrist, though his songs were a thousand 
and five, than for his proverbs and moral maxims of which the record 
takes care to tell us he spake no less than " three thousand." So much 
then for the dignity of our subject : what engaged the attention of 
Solomon and the Seven Sages of Greece cannot surely be unworthy some 
small share of our regard. 

" Six and half-a-dozen " is an English phrase, implying either that two 
things are exactly the same, or so very much alike as to be practically 
the same. The old Gael was not much of an arithmetician, he rarely 
meddled with numbers, and therefore no precisely similar phrase is to be 
found in his language ; but he could express the same idea in his own 
way, and so pithily and emphatically that his version of the proverbial 
axiom is, perhaps, as good as is to be found in any other language what- 
ever. The Gael's equivalent for " six and half-a-dozen " is, " Bo mhaol 
r, agus bo odhar, rnhaol" (A cow that is doddled and dun, and a 


cow that is dun and doddled) a phrase drawn, as are many of his most 
striking proverbs and prudential maxims, and "very naturally too, from his 
pastoral surroundings. We recollect an admirable and very ludicrous 
application of this saying in a story once told us by the late Dr Norman 
Macleod of Glasgow, " old " Norman that is, not the Barony Doctor, but 
his father: When a boy in Morven, of which parish his father was 
minister, there was a well-known character in that part of the country 
called "JEoghann G orach Cliraigan Uibhir," Daft Ewen of Craig-an-Ure in 
Mull, a born " natural," who, although a veritable " fool," had yet in him 
much of the quiet, keen-edged satire and roguery which is not unfrequently 
found in the better ranks of such " silly ones." Ewen regularly perambu- 
lated Mull and Morven / with an occasional raid into the neighbouring 
districts of Sunart and Ardnamurchan. He had sense enough to be able 
to carry the current news of the day from district to district, and on this 
account was always a welcome guest in every farm-house and hamlet on 
his beat ; and as he sung a capital song, and was remarkable for much 
harmless drollery and " daffing," he was, it is needless to say, a great 
favourite everywhere. He took a great interest in ecclesiastical affairs, 
and always attended the church when the state of his wardrobe and other 
circumstances permitted. On one occasion Ewen was passing through 
Morven, and knowing that the annual communion time was approaching, 
he called upon the minister and begged to know who his assistants on 
that particular occasion were to be. He was going to pay a visit, he said, 
to all the glens and outlying hamlets in the parish, and as the people were 
sure to ask him the important question, he wished to have the proper 
answer direct from the minister himself. " TJia ragliadli 'us taghadh nam 
ministeiran, Eoghainn ; An Doiteir A. B. a Inneraora, agus an Doiteir 
C. D. a Muille" (The pick and choice of ministers Ewen said the minister, 
Doctor A. B. from Inverary, and Doctor C. D. from Mull). " Whe-e-we !" 
in a contemptuously prolonged low whistle replied Ewen. "An ann 
mar so a tha ; Bo mUaol, odhar, agus bo odhar, mhaol ! " (And is it 
even so ; are these to be your assistants ? A cow that is doddled and 
dun, and a cow that is dun and doddled !) Than which nothing could 
more emphatically convey Ewen's very small opinion of the " assistants " 
mentioned. They were much of a muchness ; six and half-a-dozen ; a cow 
doddled and dun, and a cow dun and doddled ! The Gael was a keen 
observer of natural phenomena, and some of his best sayings were founded 
on the knowledge thus acquired. Meteorological " wisdom- words " for 
instance, are quite common. " Mar cliloich a ruith le gleann, tha feasgar 
fann foghairidh" is an admirable example. (As is the headlong rush of 
a stone, atumbling down the glen, so hurried and of short duration is an 
autumnal afternoon.) The philosophy of the saying is that you are to 
begin your work betimes in the season of autumn ; at early dawn if 
possible, and not to stop at all for dinner, seeing that once the day has 
passed its prime, the hour of sunset approaches with giant strides, and 
there is little or no twilight to help you if you have been foolish enough to 
dawdle your time in the hours of sunset proper. " 'Sfas a chuil as nach 
goirear " is another pregnant adage. (Desert, indeed, is the corner whence 
no voice of bird is heard.) Some people are very quiet, almost dumb 
indeed, but on the occurrence of some event, or on the back of some 


remark of yours, they speak, and speak so clearly and well that you are 
surprised, and quote the saying that it is a solitary and silent glade 
indeed whence no voice is heard. " Am fear a bhios na thamh, saoilidh 
e fjur i Tamil fhein as fhearr air an stiuir" is a common saying of much 
meaning and wide application. (He that is idle [a mere spectator] thinks 
that he could steer the boat better than the man actually in charge.) 
And we all know how apt we are to meddle, and generally unwisely, 
with the proper labours of others. Nothing, for instance, is more 
annoying and dangerous even than to put forth your hand by way of 
helping a driver in managing his horses, or to interfere with the tiller of 
a boat at which a perfectly competent man is already seated. We have 
known the saying just quoted scores of times suffice to stop the unwise 
and gratuitous intermeddling of such as were disposed to interfere with 
what did not properly belong to them. " Bidli fear an aon mliairt aig 
uairean gun bhainne " is a frequent saying, and implies more than is at 
first sight apparent. (The man with only one cow will be at times without 
milk.) The import of the saying is something more than a mere statement 
of fact. You have only one cow, and you are certain to be at times 
without milk. Get by your industry and perseverance tioo cows or three, 
and then you are pretty sure to have more or less milk all the year round. 

We have thus briefly touched the hem, so to speak, of a very inter- 
esting subject a subject that in the Highlands of Scotland, at least, has 
never yet received a tittle of the attention it deserves. And let no one be 
afraid to meddle with it to any extent he pleases, for we promise him that 
he will meet with nothing in any way to shock his delicacy or offend his 
taste, no matter how fine so ever of edge and exquisite; and in this 
respect, at all events, the good old Gael is superior to that of any other 
people of whom we have any knowledge. We may, perhaps, deal more 
at large with the subject in a future number. Meantime, we may state 
that we are of the same opinion as the Editor of the Inverness Courier; 
there is abundance of room for the Celtic Magazine if it continues to be 
well conducted, without, in the least degree, encroaching upon the 
territories of any other periodicals interested in Celtic aifairs. 

NETHER-LOCHABKR, November 1875. 




Dedicated by consent 'to ALFRED TENNYSON. 

All hail ! far-seeing and creative power, 
Before whose might the universe bends low 
In silent adoration ! .Guide my pen 
While from my soul the sounds of music 


Towards thy praises ! For to thee belongs 
The sounding stream of never-ending song. 
When out of chaos rose the glorious world, 
Sublime with mountains flowing from the 

On lonely seas, sweet with slow-winding 


Clasping the grandeur of the heavenly hills 
With soft and tender arms, or lowly glens 
Shrinking from glowing gaze of searching 

Beneath the shade of the high-soaring 

hills ; 
Grand with great torrents roaring o'er fierce 


In suicidal madness, sad with seas 
That flash in silver of the gladdening sun, 
Yet ever wail in sadness 'neath the skies 
Of smiling heaven (like a lovely life 
That wears a sunny face, and wintry soul), 
Hopeful with fickle-life renewingspring, 
Gladden'd with summer's radiance, 

autumn's joy, 
And sad and sullen with fierce winter's 

rain ; 
Kuled by the race of God-made men who 


Towards eternity with half-shut eyes. 
Blind to the glories of sweet sky and sea, 
Wood-covei'd earth, and sun-reflecting hijl. 
Thou in the mind of God, almighty power! 
Euled, and directed his creative hand. 
With thee the seas spread and the hills 


To do thy Maker's will ; the silvery stars 
Like heavenly glow-worms, beautifully 

And gladly silent, gemmed the gloom of 

And shed the gladdening glances of their 

On the sad face of the night-darken'd 


Without thy sweetening influence, the soul 
Of nature's bard were like a sunless plain, 
Or summer garden destitute of flowers, 
A winter day ungladden'd by the gleam 
Of flowing sun, or river searching wild 
Through desert lands for ne'er appearing 


Or peaceful flowers that sandy scenes 


No thought the philosophic mind imparts 
To an enraptured world, but bears thy 


And owns thee as the agent of its birth. 
O'er the sweet landscape of the poet's mind 
Thou sunlike shed'st the gladness of thy 


Inspiring all the scenes that lie below, 
Sweetening the bowers where Fancy loves 

to dwell, 

And on the crest of some huge mountain- 

Placing the glory of thy fleecy cloud, 
To make its frowning grandeur greater still, 
And heighten all its beauteous mystery. 
Thro' the sweet-coloured plains of Poesy 
Thou flowest like a sweetly -sounding 


Here, rushing furious o'er the rocky crags 
Of wild, original thought, and there, 'ueath 


Of imagery, winding on thy way 
Peaceful and still towards the fadeless sea 
Of all enduring immortality. 
Like lightning flash for which no thunder - 

Makes preparation, from th' astonished 


On an astonished and admiring world 
Thou dartestin thine overwhelming course, 
Leaving a track of splendour in thy train, 
And lighting up the regions of thy way. 
With thee sweet music sings her various 


And thrills the soul and elevates the mind 
With "thoughts that often lie too deep 

for tears," 

And own a sadness sweeter than the rills, 
A softer sweetness than the sinking sun 
Gives to the sparkling face of pensive sea. 
With thee great genius walketh hand in 

Towards the loftiest thought, or sits in 


Upon the golden throne of starry Fame. 
Borne on thy wings the pensive poet flies 
To the sweet-smiling land of sunny dreams, 
Or pours his floods of music o'er the world. 
With thy bright gleams his daily deeds are 


And by thy balmy influence, his life 
Survives when he is dead ! 




AMONG many who have distinguished themselves by their display of 
poetical talents, the subject of the present brief memoir, holds a prominent 
place as a Gaelic poet. It is true that he was but little known to the 
world, but he was much admired as a bard, and greatly respected as a 
gentleman in his native "Isle of-Mist." 

Lachlan Mackinnon, patron imically designated " Lachlan Mac Thear- 
laich Oig," was born in the parish of Strath, Isle of Skye, in the year 1665. 
He was son of Charles Mackinnon of Ceann-Uachdarach, a cadet of the old 
family of Mackinnon of Mackinnon of Strath. His mother was Mary 
Macleod, daughter of John Macleod of Drynoch, in the same island 
The poetical genius of Lachlan Mac Thearlaich showed itself almost in 
his infancy. His father, like all Skye gentlemen in those good olden 
times, was a very social and hospitable man, Avho seemed never to be 
contented unless he had his house at Ceann-Uachdarach full of neighbours 
to enjoy themselves in his family circle. The company were often much 
amused with little Lachlan when a mere child, seeing the facility with 
which he composed couplets on any subject prescribed to him. At the 
age of eight he possessed a vigour of mind, and a vivacity of imagination 
rarely to be met with in youths of more than double his age. A predi- 
lection for poetry seemed to have gained an ascendency in his mind, over 
all other pursuits and amusements of his tender years. He received the 
rudiments of his education, under a tutor in his father's lamily, and as 
his native island had not, at that remote period, the advantage of public 
schools of any note, the young bard was sent, at the age of sixteen, to the 
school of Nairn, which, from its reputation at the time as an excellent 
seminary, was much resorted to by gentlemen's sons from all parts of 
the north. The young Hebridean remained at Nairn continuously for 
three years, and was greatly distinguished, not rnerety by his bright 
talents, but by his assiduity and perseverance in improving them. His 
studious disposition and diligent application were amply testified by the 
progress made by him, and no less duly appreciated by his superiors in 
the place. His love for study was enthusiastic, particularly in regard to 
the languages. He was by far the best Greek and Latin pupil at the 
Nairn Academy. His moments of relaxation were spent in the composition 
of poems in the English language while at Nairn, although, undoubtedly, 
the Gaelic was the medium which was most congenial to his mind for 
giving expression in rhyme to his sentiments. At Nairn, however, he 


composed several beautiful little pieces, and among the rest a song 
which was much admired, to the air subsequently immortalized by 
Burns as "Auld Lang Syne." Although his productions in English 
were much admired, yet, as it was to him an acquired language, 
they could bear no comparison with his truly superior compositions 
in Gaelic. It is a matter of much regret that so few of his Gaelic 
poems are extant. Like many bards he unfortunately trusted his pro- 
ductions to his memory ; and although well qualified, as a Gaelic writer, 
to commit them to paper, yet he neglected it, and hence hundreds of our 
best pieces in Gaelic poetry are lost for ever. Had they been all pre- 
served, and given to the public in a collected shape, they would have 
raised the talented author to that high rank among the Celtic bards, 
which his genius so richly merited. 

In appearance Lachlan Mac Thearlaicli was tall, handsome, and 
fascinating. He was distinguished by a winning gentleness and modesty 
of manners, as well as by his generous sensibility and steadfast friendship. 
His presence was courted in every company, and he was everywhere made 
welcome. Of most of the chieftains and Highland lairds he was a very 
acceptable acquaintance, while no public assembly, or social meeting was 
considered complete if that object of universal favour, the bard of Strath, 
were absent. 

When a very young man he was united in marriage to Flora, daughter 
of Mr Campbell of Strond, in the Island of Harris. Fondly attached to 
his native isle, he rented from his chief the farm of Breakish, with the 
grazing Island of Pabbay, at 24 sterling annually. And as an instance 
of the many changes effected by time, it may be mentioned that the same 
tenement is now rented at about 250 a-year. From what has been said 
of the bard's amiable disposition and gentle manners, it will seem no wise 
surprising that he proved to be one of the most affectionate of husbands, 
and dutiful of fathers. The happiness of the matrimonial state was to him, 
however, but of short duration. His wife, to whom he was greatly 
attached, died in the prime and vigour of life. He was rendered so dis- 
consolate by means of his sudden and unexpected bereavement, that he 
took a dislike to the scene of his transient happiness, and relinquished 
his farm in Strath. Having removed from Skye, he took possession of a 
new tenement of lands from Mackenzie in Kintail. Greatly struck by 
what he considered the unrefined manners of his new neighbours in that 
quarter, and contrasting them with the more genial deportment of his own 
distinguished clan in Strath, he had the misfortune to exercise his poetic 
genius in the composition of some pungent satires and lampoons directed 
against the unpolished customs of the natives of Kintail. It is needless 
to add that by these means he gained for himself many enemies, and 
forfeited the good wishes of all around him. Finding himself thus 
disagreeably situated, after an absence of four years, he returned to Skye, 
where he was cordially received by his chief, and put in possession of his 
former farm at Breakish. After being twelve years a widower he went 
to Inverness for the purpose of visiting some of his schoolfellows who 
resided there. Previous to his leaving the capital of the Highlands his 
acquaintances there urged upon him the propriety of marrying a widow 


lady of the name of Mackintosh, whom they represented as being possessed 
of considerable means. He reluctantly complied with their wishes, but 
it became soon too apparent to him that he did so at the expense of his 
own happiness. His bride was not only penniless but deeply involved in 
debt. Next morning after his marriage he was visited by messengers 
who served him with summonses for a heavy debt due by his wife. In 
the impulse of the moment, while he held the summons in his hand, 
he seized a pen, and having taken his bride's Bible, wrote the following 
expressive lines on the blank leaf : 

" Tha'n saoglial air a roinn, 
Tba da dhiin ann, 
Tha dan ann gu bhi spna, 
Acli tha dan an donuis ann." 

This marriage proved, in every respect, an unhappy one. The lady, 
as a stepmother, was peevish, harsh, and undutiful. Her cruelty to her 
husband's children was a continual source of grief to him, and of un- 
happiness to his domestic circle. On a certain day, the lady quarrelling 
with one of her step-daughters, told her she hated to see her face, and that 
she always considered the day an unlucky one on which she had the 
misfortune to meet her first in the morning. The girl, inheriting 
no doubt a share of her father's power of repartee, quickly answered her 
stepmother, and said, " You have every cause to believe that it is unlucky 
to meet me, for I was first-foot to my dear father the unfortunate morning 
on which he left home to marry you." 

Even amid his misfortunes, whicli he endured with much forbearance, 
Lachlan Mac Thearlaich was renowned for his hospitality and genuine 
Highland friendship. Remote though the period be since he lived, still 
his memory is fondly cherished in the place. He was possessed of so 
endearing accomplishments, that time itself can hardly wipe away his 
memory from the minds of his countrymen and clan. Many fragments of 
his numerous songs continued for ages to be repeated in the country, but 
it is feared, from all the changes which have taken place in the circum- 
stances of the natives, that these are now irretrievably lost. Many of his 
witty sayings became proverbial in the island. He was one of the first 
sportsmen in the country, arid was considered one of the most successful 
deer stalkers of his day. Along with his other accomplishments he was 
an excellent performer on the violin, and in this respect he had no equal 
in the Western Isles. Of him it may be justly said : 

" To thee harmonious powers belong, 
That add to versf the charm of song ; 
Soft melody with numbers join, 
And make the poet half divine ! " 

As a proof of Lachlan Mackinnon's loyalty, it may be mentioned that, 
quite contrary to the wishes of his chief, he went along with some other 
loyal subjects, all the way from Skye to Inverness, in the year 1717, to 
sign a congratulatory address to George I. on his succeeding to the British 
throne. He spent the remainder of his days in his native isle and parish, 
and died universally regretted in the year 1734, at the age of sixty-nine. 
His funeral was attended by most of the Highland chieftains, and their 


principal vassals. His cousin-german, Alasdair Dubh of Glengarry, and 
all his gentlemen tacksmen were then present, as also Macdonald of the 
Isles, Macleod of Dunvegan, Mackinnon of Mackinnon, and Mackenzie of 
Applecross, with their chief retainers. A numerous band of Highland 
pipers preceded the bier playing the usual melancholy coronach. Amidst 
a vast assemblage of all ranks and classes his remains were consigned to 
their kindred dust in the old churchyard of Gillchrist, being the burying- 
ground of the parish which gave him birth. A rude flag, with an 
inscription, still marks the poet's grave ; but the memory of his many 
virtues will be handed down in the place to generations yet unborn. 

Lachlan Mac TJiearlaich composed a beautiful and pathetic song which 
is still preserved, to " Generosity, Love, and Liberality. He personified 
those three, and pretended that he met them as lonely outcasts in a 
dreary glen, and addressed them : 

Lath a siubhal sleibhe dhorah, 

'S mi 'falbh learn fein gu dluth, 
A chuideachd aims an astar sin 

Air guuna glaic a's cii, 
Gun clann rium anns a' ghleann, 

A'gul gu fann chion mil ; 
Air learn gur h -iad a b' aillidh dreach 

A cbunnacas riamh le m' shuiL 

Gu'm b' ioghnadb learn mar tharladh dhoibh 

A'm fasach fad air chul, 
Coimeas luchd an aghaidhean, 

Gu'n tagha de cheann iuil, 
Air beannachadh neo-fhiata dhomh 

Gu'n d' fhiaraich mi, " C6 sud ? " 
'S f hreagair iad gu cianail mi 

A'm briathraibh mine ciuin. 

" lochd, a's Gradb, a's Fiughantas, 

'Nar triuir gur h-e ar n-ainm, 
Clann nan uaislean urramach, 

A choisinn cliu 's gach ball, 
'Nuair a phaigh an fheile cis d'an Bug 

'Sa chaidh i fein air chall 
'Na thiomnadh dh' fhag ar n-athair sinn 

Aig maithibh Innse-Gall." 



F I N G A L. 

IN the yellow sunset of ancient Celtic glory appear the band of warriors 
known as the Ossianic heroes. Under the magnifying and beautifying 
influence of that sunset they tower upon our sight with a stature and illus- 
triousness more than human. Of these heroes, the greatest and best was 
Fionn or Fingal. Unless our traditions are extensively falsified he was a 
man in whom shone all those virtues which are the boast of our race. The 
unflinching performance of duty, the high sense of honour, the tenderness 
more than woman's, and the readiness to appreciate the virtues of others 
were among his more conspicuous characteristics. Now that Celtic 
anthropology is being so extensively discussed, is it not remarkable that 
Fingal, who so truly personifies the character of that race, is not adduced 
as the representative Celt 1 ? He was a Celt to the very core, and Celtic 
character has been in no small degree moulded by copying his example. 
He was, in truth, not the ultimus but the Primus Gaelorum. 

Nevertheless, it must be confessed that to many English readers 
Fingal is nothing but a name, and that even to most of them he 
looms dark and dim through the mist of years. -Unhappily, a nature 
so transcendently humane and heroic as his is not the sort to win 
the admiration of the vulgar. Nay, so far is its simple grandeur 
removed above the common materialism of modern life that the most 
refined cannot, at first sight, appreciate its exalted loveliness. 

The fullest and, we believe, the truest account of him is to be found 
in Ossian's poems. That the poetry so denominated was, in substance, 
composed by Ossian we have no doubt. At any rate the descriptions of 
Fingal therein contained are not only consistent throughout, but also in 
accordance with all that we know of him from other sources. But were 
we even to adopt the absurd theory that Fingal is a creation of Macpher- 
son's imagination, the intrinsic beauty of the picture well deserves our 

An old man retaining all the energy, but not the rashness of youth ; 
age with vigour instead of decrepitude, delighting in the words 01 
sound wisdom rather than the usual tattle of second childhood ; and, 
withal, an old man who is prone to moralise as old men are ; a man able 
and willing to do his duty in the present though his heart is left in the 
past ; such is the most prominent figure in these poems. He is pourtrayed 
as of tall, athletic frame and kingly port, his majestic front and hoary 
locks surmounted by the helm and eagle plume of the Celtic kings. 

Though the idea of Fingal pervades most of Ossian's poems he is 
seldom introduced in propria persona. Even when attention is directed 
to him the poet merely and meagerly sketches the herculean outline, 
and leaves our imagination to do the rest: 


At intervals a gleam of light afar 

Glanced from the broad, blue, studded shield of war, 

As moved the king of chiefs in stately pride ; 

With eager gaze his eye was turned aside 

To where the warriors' closing ranks he sees ; 

Half-grey his ringlets floated in the breeze 

Around that face so terrible in fight 

And features glowing now with grim delight. Tern. B. V. 

In order to introduce his hero with, the greater eclat, the bard first 
places his friends in great straits ; represents them, though brave, as 
overcome by the enemy and without hope, apart from Fingal. Both 
friends and foes speak of him in terms of respect, and even the greatest 
leaders acknowledge his superiority. When Fingal appears on the scene 
the poet rouses himself to the utmost. He piles simile on simile to give 
an adequate idea of his first charge 

Through Morven's woods when countless tempests roar, 

When from the height a hundred torrents pour, 

Like storm-clouds rushing through the vault of heaven, 

As when the mighty main on shore is driven, 

So wide, so loud, so dark, so fierce the strain 

When met the angry chiefs on Lena's plain. 

The king rushed forward with resistless might, 

Dreadful as Trenmor's awe-inspiriug sprite, 

When on the fitful blast he comes again 

To Morven, his forefather's loved domain. 

Loud in the gale the mountain oaks shall roar, 

The mountain rocks shall fall his face before, 

As by the lightning's gleam his form is spied 

Stalking from hill to hill with giant stride. 

More terrible in fight my father seemed 

When in his hand of might his weapon gleamed, 

On his own youth the king with gladness thought 

When in the furious highland wars he fought. Fingal B. III. 

The notion that Ossian drew in part, at least from real life, is favoured 
by the wonderful calmness and absence of effort evinced in delineating 
so great a character. Expressions that go far to heighten our admiration 
of Fingal are employed in a quiet matter of course way. " The silence 
of the king is terrible," is an expressive sentence. Or this again, " The 
heroes . . . looked in silence on each other marking the eyes of 

Nor are the gentler feelings less fully brought out in Ossian's 
favourite character. Nothing could speak more for his affability than 
the attachment shown by his followers. "Fear, like a vapour winds not 
among the host ! for he, the king, is near ; the strength of streamy Selma. 
Gladness brightens the hero. We hear his words with joy."* 

Gallantry and philanthropy we might expect to find in his composition, 
but the tenderness he frequently displays strikes us as remarkable in an 
uncivilized chief. His lamentation over the British city on the Clyde is 
as pathetic as any similar passage in our language. 

Another surprising trait is the generosity he invariably displays to his 
vanquished foes. All the more surprising is it that a " savage " should 
show magnanimity when the heroes of civilized Greece, Rome, and Judea, 

* The quotations in prose are from Macpherson's translation. 


counted it virtuous to torture their captured enemies. " None ever went 
sad from Fingal," he says himself. Over and over he is represented as 
lamenting the death of enemies when they fall, or granting them free- 
dom and his friendship when they yield " Come to my hill of feasts," 
he says to his wounded opponent Cathmor, " the mighty fail at times. Xo 
fire am I to lowlaid foes. I rejoice not over the fall of the brave." 

A notable fact about Fingal is, that though he lived in times 
of war, in disposition he was a man of peace. " Fingal delights not in 
battle though his arm is strong." "When will Fingal cease to fight?" 
he complains, " I was born in the midst of battles, and my steps must 
move in blood to the tomb." Under the influence of this desire for peace 
he formally gave up his arms to Ossian 

My son, around me roll my byegone years, 

They come and whisper in the monarch's ears. 

" Why does not grey- haired Fingal rest?" they say 

"Why does he not within his fortress stay? 

Dost thou in battle's gory wounds delight ? 

Lovest thou the tears of vanquished men of might ! " 

Ye hoary years ! I will in quiet lie, 

Nor profit nor delight in blood have I. 

Like blustering storms from wintry skies that roll, 

Tears waste with grief and dreariness the soul. 

But when I stretch myself to rest, I hear 

The voice of war come thundering on my ear 

Within the royal hall, with loud command, 

To rouse and draw again th' unwilling brand. Tern. B. VIII. 

Limited as were the means of communication in those pre-telegraphic 
times the fame of such a man must have spread. Accordingly, we read of his 
name being known and respected far and near. Foreign princes speak of 
him with admiration, and refugees from distant lands seek his protection. 

But it is on the power of his name in after times that we wish more 
particularly to dwell. There have been no people who honoured their 
heroes so much as the Celts. With them valour and value were synony- 
mous terms. Theirs was not a nobility of money, or literature, or aesthe- 
tics, or even of territory. Nobleness should be the qualification of a 
nobleman, and strange as it may seem, it was among the uncivilized Celts 
of Ireland and Scotland that such a character was properly appreciated. 
But they held nobleness and heroism to be identical. They seem to have 
thoroughly believed that cowardice was but the result of vice. A fearless 
man, they felt, must be a true man, and he was honoured accordingly. 
Flath-innis, the Isle of the Noble, was their only name for heaven. Allail 
or divine they applied to their heroic men. To imitate such was the old 
Celtic religion as it was the primitive religion of most other peoples. 

Among all the heroes whom the ancient Gael worshipped there was no 
name so influential as Fingal's. Through the ages he has been the idol 
and ideal of the Celt. His example was their rule of justice. His 
maxims were cited much as we would quote Scripture. To the youth he 
was held up as the model after which their lives should be patterned, and 
where Christianity had not yet eradicated the old creed, a post mortem 
dwelling with him in Flath-innis was deemed no mean incentive to good- 
ness. He was, in fact, the god of the Gaelic people, worshipped with no 


outward altar, but enshrined in the hearts of his admirers. How far the 
more admirable traits of Highland character may be attributed to the 
assimilating influence of the idea of Fin gal we cannot decide. That our 
character as a people has been largely influenced for good by the power of 
his example we have no doubt. The bards, an order of the old Druidic 
hierarchy, became the priests of the Fingalian hero-worship. Songs, 
elegies, and poetic legends formed their service of praise. To induce 
their countrymen to reverence and imitate so great and glorious a Gael as 
Fingal was the object of many of their bardic homilies. Taking into 
account the nature and circumstances of the ancient Caledonians, we must 
conclude that from position and influence none were more suitable to 
become their ethical and sesthetical advisers than these minstrel ministers 
of the Fingalian hero-olatry. 

Of course such a faith could not long withstand the more generous and 
cosmopolitan spirit of Christianity, yet we venture to assert that it was 
vastly preferable in its effects to some abortions of our common creed. 
That there was a conflict between the two religions we know. As late as 
the sixteenth century a Christian ecclesiastic complains that the leaders 
of Gaelic thought of the period were heathen enough to delight in " stories 
about the Tuath de Dhanond and about the sons of Milesius, and about 
the heroes and Fionn (Fingal), the son of Cumhail with his Fingalians 
. . . rather than to write and to compose and to support the faithful 
words of God and the perfect way of truth." 

Down to the present day the name of Fionn is reverenced by the less 
sophisticated Highlanders and Islanders. That his name will in future 
be more extensively, if less intensely, respected we may confidently pre- 
dict. As men's views become more broad and just, and their feelings become 
more cultivated and refined, we may hope that a superior character such as 
Fingal will by-and-bye be appreciated. Even now he is widely admired 
and we begin to read in the signs of the times the fulfilment of his own 
words : 

When thou art crumbled into dust, O ! stone ; 
Lost in the moss of years around thee grown ; 
My fame, which chiefs and heroes love to praise, 
Shall shine a beam of light to future days, 
Because I went in steel and faced th' alarms 
Of war, to help and save the weak in arms. Tern. B. VIII. 



No. IV. FEBRUARY 1876. 



IN prosecuting the geological and geographical confirmation of Ossian on 
which we have lately been engaged, the most convincing proofs and the 
greatest difficulties alike are to be found in the Frith of Clyde. The 
levels of the water in that frith penetrating far inland, by Paisley, 
Rutherglen, and Kilsyth, assumed unconsciously as matter of fact in the 
text of Ossian, are in such obvious harmony with every word of the 
poems which relate to that region, that the poems in question cannot 
otherwise be understood ; and we therefore cannot help believing not 
only that the poems themselves are genuine, but that they represent a 
geological phenomenon hitherto unsuspected in the world are, in fact, a 
revelation in science. On the other hand, the levels thus assumed are so . 
very far beyond anything admitted by geologists within the era assigned, 
as to seem not only extravagant but incredible ; and if they cannot be 
maintained, their assumption as a fact will destroy the credibility of the 
poems in which the assumption is made. As regards the authenticity 
of these poems, however, the assumption itself is conclusive ; for the 
translator did not see it, and could therefore never have fabricated the 
poems iu which it appears. .Such poems must have been written by some 
eye-witness of the fact, who did not require to exaggerate ; and the only 
question as regards reliability now to be settled, is whether he did 
exaggerate or no 1 Was the Clyde a sea to Rutherglen, as he seems to 
affirm ? Was the Kelvin a fiord to Kilsyth, or nearly so, as he implies ? 
Was the Leven an estuary to Loch Lomond, as Ave are bound to conclude ? 
Was the Black Cart a marine canal to Ardrossan in the days of Agricola 1 ? 
If so, the Clyde must have been from 60 to 80 feet above its present level 
at the date supposed and then, where was the Roman Wall ? Traces of 
that wall upon the Clyde at a much lower level, it is said, still exist ; and 
the old fortifications between Dunglass and Kilpatrick only 50 feet or 
thereby above the present level, put an end to the reliability, if not to 
the authenticity of Ossian. This is the difficulty now to be disposed of ; 
and of which, in passing, we need only say, that if Macpherson had seen 
it he would certainly have avoided it ; and therefore, that whoever was 
the author of the poems in which it occurs, Macpherson was not. 



But it is with the difficulty itself we are now concerned, and not with 
the authorship. I. First then, suppose any statement, direct or indirect, 
had occurred in any Greek or Roman writer of the time Caesar, Tacitus, 
Dion Cassius, or Ptolemy affirming, or even implying, such a level in 
the Clyde at the date in question, notwithstanding the Eoman Wall, 
would the testimony of such authors have been rejected 1 If not, how 
would our geologists have disposed of it ? or how would they have recon- 
ciled it with existing matters of fact 1 ? One can imagine the jealousy 
with which such texts would have been criticised ; the assiduity with 
which every crevice on the coast would have been surveyed, not to con- 
tradict but to confirm them ; and the fertility of invention with which 
theories would have been multiplied to harmonise them. Strange as it 
may appear, however, facts and statements amounting very nearly to this 
do occur, and have hitherto been overlooked, or purposely omitted in 
silence. The Eoman Wall, for example, stops short with a town at 
Balmulzie on one side of the Kelvin, and begins again with another town 
at Simmerton, nearly a mile distant, on the opposite side of the Kelvin; 
but why should such a gap be there, if the Kelvin, which flows between, 
had not been something like a fiord at the moment 1 Again, it is dis- 
tinctly affirmed by Herodian that the marshes of Clydesdale south of the 
Wall were constantly end of the third, or beginning of the fourth 
century emitting vapours which obscured the sky. But how could this 
be the case, if volcanic heat had not already been operating underneath, 
and the waters of the frith were then beginning to subside from their 
original higher levels ? 

On the other hand, not only do statements to the effect alleged occur 
frequently in Ossian, but whole poems are founded on the assumption of 
their truth, and cannot be understood without them. Why then are not 
these taken into account by our geologists as contemporaneous testimony, 
in the same way as similar statements, if they had occurred in Caesar 
or in Tacitus, would have been? Because Ossian hitherto has been 
looked upon by men of science as a fable ; as a witness utterly unfit to be 
produced in court, and no more to be cared for or quoted in an ordnance 
survey, or in a professor's chair, than the Arabian Nights' Entertainments 
are in a pulpit. By which very oversight or contempt, the most import- 
ant revelations have been lost, and the most elaborate theories will soon 
be rendered useless. Ossiau, in fact, is as much an authority as either 
Caesar, or Tacitus, or Ptolemy ; and in estimating the physical conditions 
of the world to which he refers, and which he describes, can no longer be 
either ignored or doubted. If his text seems to be at variance with 
existing facts, it must be more carefully studied ; and if new theories are 
required to harmonise details they must be accepted or invented. We 
have had theories enough already, which have perished with the using ; 
something more in harmony with facts, or that will better explain the 
facts, must now be forthcoming. 

II. But the Roman Wall itself, which is supposed to bo the greatest 
barrier in the way of our accepting Ossian, has actually a literature of its 
own, little understood, in his favour. The three forts farthest west, and 
on which so much reliance has been placed as indicating the levels of the 


Clyde when they were built and occupied, are those at Chapel Hill, near 
Old Kilpatrick, at Duntocher, and at Castlehill a little farther to the east ; 
all under the ridge of the Kilpatrick Hills, and all one of them very 
closely overlooking the Clyde. But in excavating the remains of Roman 
architecture in these forts, stones have been found with symbolical sculp- 
tures upon them which are still in existence, or which have been 
accurately copied for public use. On one of the stones at Chapel Hill, 
farthest west, we have the figure of a wild boar in flight ; on one at 
Duutocher we have another wild boar, on two more there we have sea- 
dogs or seals and winged horses ; on two more at Castlehill we have 
another boar, and another seal, and an osprey or sea-eagle on the back of 
the seal ; but beyond this to the eastward, although a boar still occurs, 
not another seal appears. How then is all this descriptive or symbolical 
sculpture, so plain and so significant, to be accounted for, if the Frith of 
Clyde had not then been a sea flowing up into the recesses of the land, as 
high almost as Duntocher and Castlehill 1 The wild boar is traceable 
throughout,, for he inhabited the woods on the Kilpatrick range, as far 
eastward, perhaps, as Simmerton ; and we find him eating acorns, even 
beyond that. On the other hand, no seal is represented at Chapel Hill, for 
the water there was too deep, and the banks too precipitous. It appears 
first at Duntocher, and again at Castlehill, because the sea flowed up 
into quiet bays and inlets there, where such amphibia could bask of 
which, more hereafter ; but it totally disappears beyond that, because the 
salt water ceased in the distance. The winged-horse, or pegasus, is more 
difficult to account for, and has greatly perplexed the learned antiquarians 
who have commented on him ; but if the Koman Legionaries who built 
and occupied these western stations ever heard the Caledonian harp, or 
listened to a Celtic bard, or received an embassy, as we are expressly told 
they did, from men like Ossian as ambassadors the difficulty requires no 
farther explanation. The Romans were neither blind nor senseless, and 
knew Avell enough how to represent the poetical genius of the country 
which they were attempting in vain to conquer, as well as the wild boars 
of its woods, and the sea-dogs in its estuaries ; and have thus left behind 
them, in rude but significant sculpture, as true a picture as could be 
imagined of the men on the soil, and the beasts in the field, and the fish 
so-called in the sea, and the bird in the air between Simmerton and 
Duntocher, in absolute conformity with the text of Ossian. Nor is there 
any possible reply to this by our antiquarian friends. The Roman Wall 
itself, to which they constantly appeal, supplies the evidence, and they 
are bound, without a murmur, to accept it. 

III. But the levels of the Wall, it may be said, as now ascertainable 
by actual survey what other sort of evidence do tliey afford 1 ? Thi 
question implies (1) A range of observation from the Kelvin at Shn- 
inerton westward to Duntocher in the first place, and then to Chapel Hill 
between Old Kilpatrick and Dunglass. The intermediate forts on that 
line are separated by equal distances, nearly as follows: From Simmerton 
to New Kilpatrick, If miles; from New Kilpatrick to Castlehill, If 
miles; from Castlehill to Duntocher, If miles; the lowest point in which 
range at Duntocher is from 1 55 to 200 feet above the level of the Clyde, 
leaving sufficient room, therefore, for the Wall above the highest lerel 


assumed in the text of Ossian. From Duntocher to Chapel Hill there is 
a distance of 2J miles, with no trace whatever of the Wall between. 
Chapel Hill is considerably lower than Duntocher, undoubtedly; but 
why is there so great a gap there, and no trace of a wall in the interval ? 
Either, because there never was a wall so close to the tide ; or because 
the tide itself washed the wall away, having been built too close to its 
confines ; or for some other more probable reason yet to be assigned. The 
fort at Chapel Hill itself, indeed, is the most indistinct of them all ; and 
if a regular fort of any importance ever existed there, it must have suffered 
either partial inundation, or some other serious shock, unquestionably. 
(2) It implies also a corresponding survey of the ground intermediate 
between the Wall and the river. Now the intervening ground along the 
banks of the Clyde, from Chapel Hill to the Pointhouse at Glasgow, is a 
low-lying flat with a gradual rise inland, at the present moment, of not 
more than 25 or 30 feet. But according to Professor Geikie's latest 
survey, the Clyde must have been about 25 feet higher in the time of the 
Romans than it now is and Professor Geikie, we presume, is an autho- 
rity on such subjects, who may be quoted along with Hugh Miller and 
Smith of Jcrdanhill : therefore the whole of that strath, and the strath 
on the opposite side, from Renfrew to Paisley, on this assumption, must 
have been submerged at the same time ; and there could be no dwelling- 
place for human beings neither local habitation nor a name within the 
entire compass of that now fertile and populous region. But two or three 
Gaelic names survive on the northern verge of it, which not only indicate 
the presence of the sea there, but fix the very limits of its tide. Dalmuir, 
for example, which means the Valley of the Sea ; and Garscadden, which 
means the Bay of Pilchards or of foul herring, must, in fact, have carried 
the Avuters up their respective streams to within less than a mile of the 
Roman Wall at Duntocher and Castlehill. It was in such retreats, then, 
that both salmon and herring (as the name of one of them imports) would 
take refuge in the spawning season ; it was into such retreats also, they 
would be pursued by the seals ; it was on the shore of such inlets the 
seals themselves would bask, when the Romans saw them; and it is 
at the two forts respectively at the head of these inlets Duntocher 
and Castlehill that they have been actually represented in Sculpture. 
Could anything be more conclusive as to the proximity of the tide, 
and very character of the shore, within a bowshot or two of the 
Wall in that neighbourhood, where there is now a distance of more 
than two miles between it and the river ? and yet even more conclusive, 
in connection with this, is the fact that on the southern verge of 
the strath, right opposite to these, are other Gaelic names equally 
significant such as Kennis, the Head of the island; Ferinis, the 
Hero's island ; and Fingal-ton, which speaks for itself at the same or a 
similar level with Dalmuir and Garscadden, that is from 100 to 200 feet 
above the present level of the Clyde, which seems to demonstrate beyond 
doubt that the whole intervening space of seven miles in breadth, with 
the exception of such small islands as those named above, was then an arm 
of the sea to the depth of 50 feet a,t least, if not more. 

(3) Our survey is thus narrowed to a single point the existence and 
alleged position of the fort _at Chapel Hill, between Old Kilpatrick and 


Dunglass, on the banks of the river ; and here it should be observed as. 
between the two extremities of tin; Wall, east and west, that Avhere it 
touches the Frith of Forth at Carriden the height of its foundation ranges 
from about 150 to 200 feet above the level of the sea, and where it 
approaches the Clyde at Duntocher it is nearly the same which was 
probably its terminus. There is scarcely a vestige of it now traceable 
beyond that, and that it was ever carried farther in reality is a matter of 
acknowledged uncertainty. But scattered fragments of masonry, as we 
have seen, and the dimmest indications of a fort deep doAvn in the earth 
have been discovered or imagined at Chapel Hill to the westward, which 
seems to be about 50 feet above the level of the Clyde leaving still a 
very large margin beyond Professor Geikie's estimate ; and a great deal 
of conjecture about what might, or might not have been there, has been 
indulged in by antiquarians. For the present, however, until proof to 
the contrary has been shown, let us accept as a fact that some military 
station had really been established there in connection with the Wall 
then, how have its fragments been so widely scattered ? how has it been 
so completely entombed that it can only be guessed at under the soil ? 
and how has the connection between it and the Wall, more than two miles 
distant, been obliterated ? No other fort on the line, that we know of, 
is now in the same condition ; and therefore, we repeat, either the 
Eomans were foolishly contending with the tide, by building too close to 
its confines, and the tide drove them back and overthrew their works ; or 
the fort itself was originally on a higher level, and the shock of an earth- 
quake, or a landslip from the mountains, or both together, carried the 
whole mass of masonry and earthwork at this particular point down to 
their, present level, where they would be washed by the tide and silted up 
in their own ruins. This is a view of the matter, indeed, which no anti- 
quarian, so far as we are aware, has hitherto adopted ; but any one who 
chooses to look with an unprejudiced eye, for a moment, at the enormous 
gap in the hills immediately behind, reaching down to the shore and 
including this very region, must be satisfied that the case was so ; and 
ivrrnt discoveries one of a quay-wall or foundation of a bridge at Old 
Kilpatvick, about 4 feet deep in a field ; and another of a causeway, more 
than 20 feet submerged and silted up under sea-sand, on the same side of 
tin' river, near Glasgow, will most probably confirm it. 

One other question, however, yet remains, touching this mysterious 
fort, which we may be allowed to say only " Ossian and the Clyde " can 
enable us to answer Why was such a fort ever thought of there at all? 
It was cither to receive provisions and reinforcements from the sea ; and 
if so, then it must have been on the very verge of the frith, and the water 
must have been sufficiently deep there. Or it was to watch the estuary 
of the Leven, and to prevent the native Caledonians either landing from 
the sea, cr ruining down from the hills to turn the flank of the Wall at 
Duntocher, and so surprising the L'umans in the rear; and this, beyond 
doubt, was its most important purpose as a military station on the lino. 
But we have elsewhere explained (in the work above alluded to) that 
there was a regular route for the Caledonians from Dunglass to Campsie, 
which still bears the name of Fingal ; and Fynloch, the very first ren- 
dezvous on that line, is on the top of the hill immediately above the fort 


in question. The Romans, who must have been fully aware of this, made 
their own provision accordingly. In sight of that fort, therefore, Fingal 
and his people might embark or disembark on their expeditions through 
Dumbartonshire at pleasure ; but it would require to be at a reasonable 
distance westward, on the sides of Dumbuck or in the quiet creek at 
Milton, if they wished to escape the catapults and crossbows of the con- 
querors of the world. Now the earthquake, which extended up the whole 
basin of the Clyde, seems to have changed all that. The fort was sunk 
or shattered, as we suppose, and the frith began to fall ; and antiquarians 
who do not believe in Ossian, or who do not keep such obvious facts in 
view, have been puzzled ever since, and Avill be puzzled ever more, 
attempting to account for it. 

IV. In adducing this evidence partly antiquarian and partly geologi- 
cal we have restricted our survey exclusively to the Roman Wall, for it 
is on this important barrier between the Forth and Clyde that those who 
object to the geography of Ossian are accustomed to fall back. But the 
sort of testimony it affords might be easily supplemented by a survey of 
the Clyde itself, which can be shown, and has been shown, by incon- 
testable measurement on the coast of Ayrshire, to be sinking at the rate 
of f of an inch annually for the last forty or fifty years at least ; and if 
such subsidence has been going on for fifteen hundred years at the- same 
rate, the level of the frith in the days of the Romans must have been 
even higher than we now allege. A critic in the Scotsman, who, himself, 
first demanded such a survey, and to whom the survey when reported in 
the same paper August 30th, 1875 was troublesome, appeals boldly in 
an editorial note to the authority of Hugh Miller, and again demands that 
the survey be transferred from Girvan to Glasgow, because " the height 
to which the tide rises is a very fluctuating quantity " in Ayrshire, we 
presume. As for Hugh Miller, we can find nothing whatever in his 
pages to the purpose ; and if such a distinguished authority is to be relied 
on in the present controversy, we must insist on his very words being 
quoted. As for the fluctuation of the tide, if it fluctuates in one place 
more than another, what is the use of appealing to it at all? and as 
between the Ayrshire coast, and the Renfrewshire or Lanarkshire coast, 
on the, same side of the frith, unless ' ' the moon and one darn'd thing or 
another" have special disturbing influence in Ayrshire, what difference 
can there be in the regularity of flow between Girvan and Glasgow 1 ? 
This learned adversary in the Scotsman must surely have been at his wit's 
end when he took refuge in such an absurdity, and we may safely leave 
him where he is, to revise his own calculations and recover his composure. 

All this might be insisted on anew ; but the object of the present 
argument is simply to show to the readers of the Celtic Magazine that the 
Ossianic controversy must of necessity be removed to another and a higher 
sphere than ever. There are certain points, indeed, on which philological 
inquiries may still be of the utmost importance as regards the Gaelic 
original, and these we cheerfully consign for discussion to those whom 
they most concern; but these Avill never decide the question of authenti- 
city in its proper form, or establish Ossian in his proper place as a witness- 
bearer of the past. The sense of Macpherson's translation, as it stands, 


must be honestly ascertained; its testimony verified, or otherwise, by 
direct appeal to the subject matter of its text ; and its value in the 
literature of the world determined, on the same principles, and by the 
very same process as that of any other public record Avould be in the 
history of the world. Such -investigation has now become indispensable. 
In Ossian's name alike, and in that of science, as well as of common 
sense, we demand it, and will never be satisfied until it has been accorded. 


WE direct the reader's careful attention to the following interesting 
statistics regarding occupiers of land in Ireland : The agricultural 
statistics of Ireland recently completed for 1873 show that in that year 
there were in that country 590,172 separate holdings, being 5,041 less 
than in the preceding year. The decrease was in the small holdings. The 
number of holdings not exceeding one acre fell to 51,977, a decrease of 
908, and the number above one acre and not exceeding 15 acres, shows a 
decrease of 3,777. The holdings above one acre can be compared with 
the numbers in 1841. Since that date the total number has decreased '2'2 
per cent. The number of farms above, one and not exceeding five acres 
has fallen to 72,088 (in 1873), a decrease of 76'8 per cent.; the number 
of farms above five and not exceeding 15 acres has diminished to 168,044, 
a decrease of 33 - 5 per cent. ; the number above 15 and not exceeding 30 
acres has risen to 138,163, an increase of 74-1 per cent. ; and the number 
above 30 acres has increased to 159,900, an increase of 228'8 per cent. Of 
the total number of holdings in 1873, 8'8 per cent, did not exceed 1 acre; 
12'2 per cent, were above 1 and not exceeding 5 acres; 28'5 per cent., 5 
to 15 acres ; 23'4 per cent., 15 to 30 acres ; 12*4 per cent., 30 to 50 acres; 
9-4 per cent., 50 to 100 acres ; 3*7 per cent., 100 to 200 acres; 1'4 per 
cent., 200 to 500 acres; 0'2 per cent., above 500 acres. More than 60 
acres in every 100 of the land comprising farms above 500 acres are bog 
or waste. As the farms diminish in size, the proportion \mder bog and 
waste decreases until it amounts to only 7'1 per cent, on the smallest 
holdings. The average extent of the holdings not exceeding 1 acre is 1 
rood and 32 perches, and of farms above 500 acres 1,371 acres and ID 
perches. As in many instances landholders occupy more than one farm, 
it has been considered desirable to ascertain the number of such persons, 
and it has 1 >< n found that in 1873 the 590,172 holdings were in the 
hands^of 539,545 occupiers, or 2,293 fewer than in the preceding year. 
There "were in 1873 50,758 occupiers whose total extent of land did not 
exceed 1 acre; 65,051 holdings above 1 and not exceeding 5 acres; 
150,778 holdings above 5 but not exceeding 15 acres; 124,471 holdings 
above 15 but not exceeding 30 -acres; 65,991 holdings above 30 and not. 
exceeding 50 acres; 50,565 holdings above 50 but not exceeding 100 
acres; 20,764 holdings above 100 but not exceeding 200 acres ; 8,799 
holdings above 200 but not exceeding 500 acres; and L',3iiS holdings 
above 500 acres. Tho whole 590,172 holdings extended over iM),:', 27,190 
acres, of which 5,270,746 were under crops, 10,413,991 were grazing 
land, 13,455 fallow, 323,656 woods and plantations, and 4,:5<>f>.:U* bog 
and waste. The estimated population of Ireland in the middle of the 
year 1873 was 5,337,261. 



OLD Mr Chisliolm sat at his parlour fire after a hearty New Year dinner. 
His wife occupied the cosy arm-chair in the opposite corner ; and gathered 
round them were a bevy of merry grand-children, enjoying New Year as 
only children can. Their parents were absent at the moment, and the 
family group was completed by a son and daughter of the old couple. 

Mr Chishohn was in a meditative mood, looking into the bright blazing 
fire. " Well," he observed at last with an air of regret, " The New Year 
is not observed as it was when we were children, wife. It's dying out, 
dying out greatly. When these children are as old as we are there will 
be no trace of a Christmas or a New Year holiday. What did you say 
you had been doing all day Bill ? " he asked, turning to his son. 

" Shooting," said Bill, " and deuced cold I was. Catch me trying for 
the ' silver medal and other prizes ' another New Year's Day." 

" Shooting may be interesting " said Mr Chisholm, "but as you say it is 
cold work. We had sometimes a shot at a raffle in my young days,, but 
usually we had more exciting business. Shinty my boy, shinty was our 
great game," and Mr Chisholm looked as if he greatly pitied the degeneracy 
of the latter days. 

" I have played shinty myself" said Bill, "and I see it is still played 
in Badenoch and Strathglass, and among wild Highlanders in Edinburgh. 
But it's too hard on the lungs for me, and besides we never play it here." 

" The more's the pity, Bill. There's no game ever I saw I could com- 
pare to shinty. Talk about cricket, that's nothing to it. Shinty was 
suited to a New Year's day ; it kept the spirits up and the body warm. 
I should like to have a turn at it yet wouldn't I run ? " And the old 
man's heavy frame shook as he chuckled at the idea. " However, there's 
no use speaking ; is tea ready wife 1 " 

"No, and it wont be for half-an-hour yet, perhaps longer" said Mrs 
Chisholm. " You know we have to wait Bella and John," indicating her 
married daughter and her husband. 

" Then," said the old man, " come here bairns and I shall tell you how 
I spent one of my early New Year's days." 

"Yes, do, grandfather," shouted a happy chorus; "now for a story." 

" Not much of a story " replied Mr Chisholm, " but such as it is you 
shall have it. I was born and bred in the country, you know, my father 
being a small farmer. The district was half-Lowland, half-Highland, and 
we mixed the customs of both. At that time shinty was a universal 
winter game, and greatly we prided ourselves on our smartness at the 
sport. And it was a sport that required a great deal of smartness, 
activity, strength, presence of mind, and a quick sure eye. Many a 
moonlight night did the lads contend for the honour of hailing the ball. 
On this particular day there was to be a match between two districts 


twenty men a-side, and the stake 5 and a gallon of whisky. Our 
leader was a carpenter, named Paterson, who was the hero of many a 
keenly contested shinty match. 

" The eagerly expected morning at last arrived. The New Year was 
taken in by the young folk trying for their fortune in ' sooans.' Bless me 
bairns, don't you know what ' sooans' is ? No ; then the thin sooans was 
made for drinking like good thick gruel ; the thick was like porridge, but 
that we never took on a Christmas or New Year morning. About four 
o'clock I came down to the kitchen, and there found my mother 
superintending the boiling of the ' sooans,' and the place filled with the 
servants, girls, and men, and some of our neighbours. My friend Pater- 
son, who had an 1 eye to one of the servants (a pretty country lassie) had 
walked four miles to be present. Wishing them all a happy Christmas I 
sat down to share the ' sooans ' with the rest. 

" ' Well Paterson,' said I, 'how do you feel this morning ? Nothing, I 
hope, to interfere with your running powers.' 

" ' No thank ye, Willie,' said he, ' I'm as supple as a deer.' 

" ' Supple enough,' said one of the men with a grin ; ' he was here 
first this morning. Wasn't he, Maggie ? ' 

" ' 'Twould be lang afore ye were first,' retorted Maggie ; ' the laziest 
loon on the whole country side.' 

" By this time the ' sooans' were ready, and we were all unceremoniously 
turned out of doors. In our absence ten bowls were filled. In two of 
these a ring was placed, signifying, of course, speedy marriage ; a shilling 
put into two others represented the old bachelor or old maid ; and a half- 
crown in another represented riches. Called in, we had each to choose a 
dish, beginning at the youngest. Great was the merriment as we drained 
our dishes, but at the last mouthful or two we paused, as if afraid to peer 
into dark futurity. 

" ' Here goes,' exclaimed Paterson first of all, and he emptied his dish. 
At the bottom lay a shilling, which he exhibited amidst a general shout 
of laughter. 

" ' What have you got Maggie,' was the next exclamation. With a 
titter Maggie produced a ring. 

" ' And here's the other ring ' cried Jock, the ' laziest loon in the 
c< mntry side.' ' Maggie, you're my lass for this year anyway.' 

" Maggie tossed her head in superb disdain. 

" ' I'll try my luck now,' said I, and drained my dish. My luck was 
to get the second shilling. So you see wife, though I got you I was 
intended to be a bachelor. The half-crown, I think, fell to a man who 
could never keep a sixpence in his purse. 

" After breakfast we started for the place of meeting. Our men joined 
us one by one, and many more came to see the game. As we passed the 
cottages the girls called to us to see that we supported the honour of the 
place, and returned victorious, to which we replied 'ay, that we will,' and 
flourished our clubs witli vigour. Before we reached the appointed 
ground the procession had greatly increased in numbers, and a large crowd 


at the spot welcomed us with tossing up of bonnets and rounds of cheer- 
ing. Soon afterwards our opponents arrived, headed by a piper, and 
their leader Jack Macdonald. Their appearance also excited hearty 
cheering, and preliminaries were soon arranged. 

"The sides were very equally matched. Macdonald was an active 
young ploughman, who came neatly dressed in a velveteen jacket and 
corduroy trousers, the latter adorned with rows of buttons. Paterson, of 
course, was our mainstay ; and besides him, we had an innkeeper, as stout 
and round as one of his own barrels, who, singular to say, was a capital 
shinty player. Our opponents had the assistance of an enthusiastic 
schoolmaster, who, even in those days, encouraged sports among his 
pupils, in spite of the remonstrances of some of the wiseacres. Our clubs 
were carefully selected. Some preferred a sharp square crook, some a 
round one, just as they happened to excel in hitting or ' birling ' that is, 
in getting the ball within the bend, and running it along upon the 
ground. The ball, composed of cork and worsted, was at once strong and 

" The hails, four hundred yards apart, were duly measured out and 
marked by upright poles. Then the players ranged themselves in the 
centre of the field, Macdonald and Paterson hand to hand ; and at the 
understood sign the ball was thrown down and the strife commenced. I 
don't know whether the rules were the same in all places, but with us no 
kicking or throwing of the ball was allowed. We coidd stop it by any 
means we pleased, but we could strike it forward only with our clubs. 
The players were ranged in opposing ranks ; and it was against all rule 
for a player, even in the heat of contest, to turn round to his opponents' 
side, though he might, by so doing, obtain a more convenient stroke. 
Should such a thing happen, the roar of " Clipsides ye " from a dozen 
throats, and the thwack of two or three clubs on his legs would soon 
apprise the unlucky individual of his fault. 

" As long as the ball was in the midst of the players there was great 
scrambling and confusion. The lads pushed and shouted ; club stuck 
fast in club ; and the ball was tossed from side to side without any 
advantage to either party. Paterson watched his opportunity, and 
cleverly picking the ball from the other clubs, he gave it a hasty stroke 
which brought it close to me, eagerly waiting for it outside the thick of 
battle. In a moment I had caught it, and sped along the field, ' birling ' 
rather than hitting, followed by the Avhole troop, cheered by my friends 
and stormed at by my opponents. Macdonald, rushing fast and furious, 
first came up and seized my club with his as I was about to administer a 
stroke. For a second or two we were both helpless ; Macdonald first 
succeeded in extricating his weapon, and struck the ball backwards two 
or three yards. The other players were almo&t upon us, when I struck 
up Macdonald's club, caught the ball again and shot a-head. Macdonald 
overtook me with a few bounds, for he was now thoroughly roused and 
heated ; but stretching too far to hit the ball he fell on his knee. The 
schoolmaster, however, was now upon me, and the ball was hurled back 
1 >y him among the troop of players. Macdonald had sprung to his feet 
almost in an instant, and darted back to the contest. 


" Again the scene of confusion recommenced: Backwards and for- 
wards, backwards arid forwards, swayed the excited crowd, every face 
flu-hod, and every muscle, strained to the utmost. Shins and arms 
received some awkward blows in the strife, but no one cared as long as 
the injuries were unimportant. Macdonald at last succeeded in pulling 
out the ball, and getting it for a moment into a clear space, he delivered 
a tremendous blow, which drove it far on the road to hail. There was a 
race who should reach it first. Paterson succeeded, and drove the ball 
far down the field, but out of the direct way and into a whin bush. 
' Hands,' shouted his nearest opponent ; and at this call the stout inn- 
keeper, who was nearest the bush, caught up the ball and brought it into 
the open field. 

" ' High or low ' said the innkeeper, holding his club in his right hand 
and the ball in his left. 

" ' High,' said his opponent. 

" The ball was immediately thrown into the air and both tried to strike 
it as it fell. The innkeeper was successful, but the blow was necessarily 
a feeble one, and carried the ball but a few yards. 

" The contest continued during the grearter part of the day, neither side 
being able to claim a decided advantage. During a momentary pause 
Paterson flung off his boots, sharp frost as it was, and was followed by 
Macdonald, the innkeeper, and myself. The innkeeper freely regaled 
himself from his pocket-flask, and actually became more eager and active. 
Late in the afternoon he got a-head with the ball, and skipped forward, 
sometimes 'birling ' and sometimes hitting it, until he was within twenty 
yards of hail. Another blow would have finished the match, when 
Macdonald caxight the ball and ran back with it, most wonderfully eluding 
all the clubs, now wielded by arms for the most part greatly fatigued. 
Paterson, thrown off his guard by the suddenness of the movement, was 
left behind. The innkeeper pursued Macdonald closely so closely, 
indeed, that his bulky body obstructed all movements but his own. 
Macdonald was in high spirits, when, running against an opponent in 
front, he turned round for a moment to o - ir side to secure a better stroke. 
The innkeeper, foaming with rage and disappointment, roared out ' Clip- 
sides ye,' and administered a blow to Macdonald's leg that caused him to 
halt for an instant. That halt was fatal. I darted past and hoisted the 
ball to Paterson, who seized it and carried it easily through the now 
scattered ranks of our opponents. Once out into the open field it was a 
direct chase. Paterson had better wind than any man on the field, and 
having got so far ahead he made the most of his advantage. Macdonald 
pursued him hotly. Twice he came up with Paterson, twice he struck at 
the ball, and both times struck the ground just as the object of his pur- 
suit was earned forward by our leader's weapon. After that all was over. 
Paterson took the ball to within twenty yards of hail, and then with a 
well-directed blow sent it between the winning posts. A loud shout rent 
the air. In the excitement of the moment I attempted leapfrog over the 
stout innkeeper, and both came to the ground. 

" After this the whisky was broached, and mutual healths followed. 
The game had been so well contested that there was no ill-feeling ; and 


we promised to give our opponents an opportunity of revenge another 
day. Late at night we returned to niy father's house, where a good supper 
was spread for us in the barn. A hearty dance followed, and so New 
Year's Day, old style, came to a close. Don't you think it was a jovial 

" Not a doubt about it " said Bill, " only the sport was rather rough. 
Do you really mean to say that you threw off your boots for the play ?" 

" That we did my boy in the heat of the match, and it was not so 
unusual as you may suppose. Highlanders were tough lads in those 
days, and they didn't fear a blow or a bruise." 

" Did many accidents happen ? " asked Bill. " When clubs were 
swinging about freely I should think heads were in danger." 

" Serious accidents were rare " replied Mr Chisholm. " Ankles and 
legs and hands did get some smart knocks, but heads generally escaped. 
In the thick of the strife there was no use swinging clubs in the air. We 
could only push and thrust, and pull the ball out with the crook. In a 
race we struck as we ran, giving short rapid strokes ; and when a player 
delivered a sweeping blow, he had generally space for the swing of his 
club. I remember a boy getting his face laid open by an awkward 
fellow ; but such an occurrence was rare among experienced players. We 
could handle our clubs as you handle your guns scientifically. There 
are not usually many casualties at a shooting match eh Bill?" 

"But, grandfather, what came of Paterson ?" asked little Mary. " Did 
he many Maggie ?" 

" Oh, that's the subject of interest to you, lassie. No, he didn't. 
Women are always contrary. Maggie married the ' lazy loon ' Jock ; he 
made the most of his good fortune in getting the ring, and the marriage 
was long cited as a proof of the unfailing certainty of the oracle." 

"Grandfather," cried Henry, "have you made us the totum? Didn't 
you used to play the totum on New Year's Day 1 " 

" That we did boy " said Mr Chisholm. " The youngsters thought it 
a capital game, and the elders did not refuse to join in it. Yes, Harry, I 
made you the totum, and by-and-bye we shall have a game." 

" Let us have it now " cried the children springing up in eager excite- 
ment. '< Let us have it now ; we have all brought our pins." 

Mr Chisholm cheerfully acquiesced. The group gathered round a 
little table, each with a stock of pins displayed, to be staked on the game 
now about to be commenced. Look at the totum as Harry takes it up 
and balances it between the thumb and second finger of the right hand. 
It is only a piece of wood about half an inch long, cut away to a sharp 
point below, and having a slender spike thrust in at the top to serve as a 
handle. It is four square, and a letter is carved on each side namely, i 
"T," " D,," " N," and " A." Each player stakes a single pin, and each in| 
rotation gets his chance of whirling the totum. If, after whirling, the 1 
totum falls with the letter "A" uppermost, all the stakes become the! 
prize of the player; if "T" is the uppermost letter he only takes one ; if 
" N " appears he gets nothing at all ; while " D " obliges him to contri- 1 


bute a pin from his private stock to the heap in the centre. Every whirl 
comes to be watched with as much eagerness as if a fortune depended on 
the result. 

The nature of the game having been made sufficiently plain, Mr 
Chisholm leads off with a whirl which sends the totum spinning round 
so fast as to be almost invisible ; but gradually relaxing its speed it falls 
at last, exposing upon its upper surface the letter " N," carved, if not with 
elegance, at least with sufficient plainness to show that it is a veritable 
" N " and no other letter of the alphabet. 

" Nickle nothing," shout the children, as they clap their hands with 

Then Harry takes his turn. He holds the totum very carefully be- 
tween his finger and thumb, poising it with intense gravity ; then looks at 
the letter next him, twirls the toy backward and forward, and finally pro- 
pels it by a sudden jerk from his fingers. It whirls like a top for a few 
seconds, watched by eager faces, and ultimately falls with the letter "D" 

" D put down " bursts from the merry group ; and the boy looks very 
(disappointed as he withdraws a pin from his private stock and places it 
(among the general deposit. Grandfather enters into the fun with as much 
: enthusiasm as the children, and the spirit of gambling has taken possession 
of the New Year party. 

The smallest girl four years old next takes the totum. She places 
it between the thumb and forefinger, screws her mouth to make an elfort, 
and placing the point on the table gives it a whirl. It goes round three 
or four times Avith a convulsive staggering motion, and at last falls, " A " 
xippermost, amidst a general shout of laughter and applause. 

" A, take them all Lizzy has got the pins " and the surprised and 
happy child, proud of her success, gathers the heap to her own stock, 
'while the others each replace a stake. 

So the lively little game proceeds amidst varying success. Possessions 
'grow and diminish as the totum makes its rounds; and before the game 
ends Mr Chisholm is reduced to his last phi. He holds it up with rueful 
countenance, confessing himself a ruined man, while the children clutch 
tht-ir treasures, and boast^of their success. 

" Grandfather is beaten is beaten at the totum " cried Mary as her 
{ father and mother at length arrived. " He showed us how to play, and 
look at the pins we have gained." 

" May you always be as happy with your gains," said the old man 
resuming his paternal attitude. " Now you know how we spent our Old 
j iNew Years. Sooans and shinty, and the totum they were all simple 
, jmaybe, but there was pleasure in them all. Many a heart was lost at the 
' sooans ' ; many a hand made strong at shinty ; and many a little head got 
its first notion of worldly competition from the totum. Take your seats, 
boys and girls, for here's the tea ! " 





Why shrouded in gloom is Clan Chattan ? 

Clan Chattan ! Clan Chattan ! 
Tears circle the crest of Clan Chattan ! 

Clan Chattan ! Clan Chattan ! 
Ochone ! our light is reft, 

Burning too brief, 
Ochone ! the darkness left, 

Fills us with grief. 
Streamlets are singing woe, 
Torrents in sorrow flow, 
Flow'rets on ev'ry leaf, 
Bear the red dew of grief. 
Ochone ! the Beam of Clan Chattan is low. 

Deep-boaomed the woe of Clan Chattan ! 

Clan Chattan ! Clan Chattan ! 
Far rings the lament of Clan Chattan ! 

Clan Chattan ! Clan Chattan ! 
Ochone ! our joy-lit star, 

Sunk in the night. 
Ochone ! his soul afar, 

Swiftly took flight : 
Hero-sires welcomed him, 
Pealing their deathless hymn, 
Loud on their happy shore, 
Angels the psean bore : 
Ochone ! the Pride of Clan Chattan sleeps on. 

Still brightly he smiles on Clan Chattan ! 

Clan Chattan ! Clan Chattan ! 
His spirit is guarding Clan Chattan ! 

Clan Chattan ! Clan Chattan ! 
Ochone ! his mem'ry lives, 

Ever in bloom. 
Ochone ! its beauty gives 

Light to his tomb : 
Matrons and maidens mourn, 
Life in its glory shorn, 
Stalwart sons, fathers grey, 
Dash the sad tear away. 
Ochone ! the Love* of Clan Chattan ne'er dies. 



* " Love " here means the Chief. 



[The conductors of the Celtic Magazine in their prospectus, and in their 
first number, state that " they will at all times be ready to receive contri- 
butions from both sides on any question connected with the Highlands, 
and of interest to Highlanders." In whatever light the subject of the 
following remarks may be viewed, it will readily be admitted that it has 
an interest for Highlanders sufficient to entitle it to temperate discussion 
in these pages] : 

THE Game Laws in Scotland, as our readers are aware, consist chiefly 
of various statutes designed to secure to landed proprietors what the 
common law, while it leaves them without the means of effectually 
securing, declares them entitled to, the exclusive possession and use of 
their land. The common law maxim, that an owner is entitled to the 
sole enjoyment of his own ground, the legislature has practically given 
effect to from time to time by passing various enactments pointing to 
that end. These somewhat numerous statutes are almost identical in 
effect in the three kingdoms, to which some of them extend ; nor does the 
common law throughout materially vary. It is not our intention, how- 
ever, to emulate Sir Roger de Coverley, whose explanations of the Game 
Acts used to gain great applause at quarter sessions, by entering upon 
a minute analysis of them here. We mean to confine ourselves simply 
to a critical examination of the various attacks to which they have been 
subjected, and an endeavour to make a brief and impartial survey of 
their effect on the prosperity of the Highlands. 

In entering upon the consideration of adverse criticisms, we find that 
they are easily resolved into two classes : First, there are those as to 
what opponents term the unnecessary severity and injurious influence of 
the Game Laws upon poachers; and secondly, the injury indirectly 
effected by them upon tenant-farmers, agricultural and pastoral. 

Sympathy for the poacher is frequently proclaimed by anti-game 
law agitators. They will tell you that the disposition to pursue game is 
inherent in human nature ; that the indulgence of this irrepressible pro- 
pensity ought to be regarded with a lenient eye : that game cannot be 
identified as property, and that the man who takes it should not be con- 
sidered or treated as a thief; dilating the while on the sad misfortunes that 
an occasional lapse into the fields in search of a hare or a rabbit may bring 
upon an agricultural labourer and his family, ultimately it may be 
involving them in ruin. These arguments, however, though at first sight 
appearing to have some foundation in reason, do not satisfactorily stand 
the test of serious scrutiny. They are such as could be brought to bear 
for what they are worth against the operation of almost all repressive laws 
in the kingdom. Smuggling, for instance, is not generally looked upon 
as a breach of the moral law, nor does it present itself to common eyes in 
an odious light ; yet it is a crime punishable by penal laws for the sake 


of increasing revenue. The man who takes his own agricultural produce 
and converts it into a wholesome and refreshing beverage for his own 
domestic use is liable to a very much heavier penalty than he who steps 
on to his neighbour's property and puts out his hands to take what he has 
neither laboured for nor purchased. In the one case we can imagine an 
honest industrious labourer, actuated only by a desire 'for the comfort of 
himself and his family, manufacturing his own goods into nourishing and 
sustaining ale, heavily punished for his untaxed enjoyment of the bounties 
of Providence ; whereas, in the other -case, the poacher, as a rule, is a 
person with a turn for idleness, an aversion to all honest and steady 
labour, and a taste for luxurious indulgences above his means, who per- 
sists in illegally invading another's property in the pursuit and seizure of 
its produce. 

This character is specially applicable to the poaching class in the 
Highlands. Any one familar with prosecutions in poaching cases 
there must see that the offenders brought up for trial form a 
limited list of mean-spirited cringing creatures, upon whom any sort of 
sympathy would be sadly thrown away, whose faces are well known 
to the procurator-fiscal as they appear in rather regular succession in the 
dock. It may be said that almost nine poaching prosecutions out of ten 
are instituted against old and habitual offenders, who calculate, like 
blockade runners, that a few successful raids will enable them cheerfully 
to pay the fines inflicted on the occasions of their capture. As deer- 
stalking and grouse shooting, to be effective, require day-light, and 
pheasant breeding is the exception not the rule in the north, cases of night 
poaching, the worst and most severely punishable, are of unfrequent 
occurrence, while fines of two pounds, the highest that can be inflicted for 
day poaching, in the most aggravated cases, is not heavy enough even 
when coupled with costs to make habitual and systematic . poaching an 
altogether unprofitable occupation. We have no difficulty therefore in 
saying that the Game Laws do not press with undue severity upon the 
labouring classes in the Highlands, by whom, on the whole, poaching is 
now an offence rarely committed ; and we believe that in saying 
so we express the opinion of those classes themselves. Any complaints 
that have been made have not proceeded from them but from third parties 
who have endeavoured to range themselves as pretended friends to com- 
pass their own ends. There is just one direction in which we might hint 
that improvement is possible. "We would wish to see a sliding scale of 
fines legalised, by which lighter penalties would be exigible for first 
offences and repeated transgressions less leniently punishable than at pre- 

We have now to consider that more vexed and intricate portion of our 
subject, the operation of the Game Laws upon the position of the tenant- 
farmer. This we have stated to be indirect, because, in reality, many of 
the results complained of might be continued in existence independently 
of the operations of these laws. The points at issue between landlord and 
tenant, over which such torrents of discussion have been poured, are 
really questions of contract been individuals, which could and would arise, 
were the Game Laws abolished. But as complaints are coupled with a 


demand for the abolition of these laws as a panacea, we cannot avoid 
briefly examining their relation to the interests of agriculture. Whether 
owing to buc colic trust in the friendly intentions of a Conservative 
Government, or to hopelessness of there being any advantages derivable 
therefrom, it is worthy of observation that the recent agitation on this 
question, as well as on the kindred subjects of unexhausted improvements 
and hypothec denominated by Mr Hope in his observations in " Recess 
Studies," " Hindrances to Agriculture," have now entered upon a quiescent 
phase. A few years ago an agricultural dinner was no sooner eaten by 
the assembled agriculturists than the Game Laws were tabled with the 
toddy, and both hotly, and in some cases ably discussed. But a change 
for the better is now noticeable in the atmosphere of Cattle Club 
Meetings and Wool Fair dinners whereat the voices of game preservers 
may even be heard amid applause. Monotony was the rock on which 
the agitation was in danger of being shipwrecked, and as the results did 
not appear to be commensurate to the labour, as the stone seemed to b 
rolled up the hill in vain, so far as concerned the passing of any favour- 
able parliamentary measure, swords have again been turned into more 
useful ploughshares, and spears into less ornamental pruning hooks. 
The opportunity is therefore not an unfavourable one for a calm survey of 
the situation. 

It is a well-known principle in jurisprudence that a contract between 
two parties capable of contracting in respect to a subject matter known 
to both, if adhered to by either, is inviolably binding ; and with the free 
action of this principle as between parties, except in a matter of life and 
death, the legislature always has had, and we confidently believe, always 
will have a delicacy in interfering. If there is no vital principle, or 
toecialty in a contract between landlord and tenant in regard to an 
heritable subject, such as an arable farm, that necessarily takes it out of 
the list of ordinary contracts, no Government would seriously entertain or 

the passing of a measure for imposing fetters upon one of the 
parties to that contract, exceptional legislation to obtain an advantage 
for the lessee to the detriment of the lessor. Are there then such 
specialties? Tenant-farmers allege (1) that land is not an ordinary sub- 
ject of contract owing to the extent being limited, and is a possession 
vvners of which stand in the relation merely of national trustees, 
bound to administer in the way most beneficial to the people ; (2), that 
tenants are not capable of contracting on equal terms with their land- 
lords, and that the weaker party should receive legislative protection in 
the shape of an inalienable right to ground game ; and (3), that in being 
compelled to sign game preservation clauses, the subject matter of that 
part of their agreement is one the full extent of which must, from its 
nature, be unknown to them. To this reply is made (1), That the 
possession of land is no more a monopoly than the passession of cattle or 

her commodity, that is continually in the market and sold to the 
highest bidder ; that the fact of the supply being limited, and necessarily 
in the hands of the few, in comparison with the many who wish to use it, 
is no reason why exceptional restrictions should be placed on its being let 
out i'or hire, but rather the reverse ; as well might the possessors of 
money, who are few in comparison with those who wish to borrow it, b 



statutorily bound to lend it out at less than it would otherwise bring ; and 
that those who invest money in land, having no contract with the State, 
cannot be -interfered with by the State in the management of it in the 
way they believe most advantageous to themselves ; (2), that farmers as a 
rule, and particularly those who make the greatest noise about the Game 
Laws, are quite capable of attending to their own interests in any contract 
with proprietors as to leasing of land ; that if they are glad to obtain 
it on the proprietors' terms, that is occasioned by the legitimate operation 
of the laAvs of supply and demand, which equally affect all other con- 
tracts ; and that to give them an inalienable right to ground game, which 
they would immediately convert into money value by sub-letting, would 
simply amount to confiscation of part of the enjoyment of property, and 
in effect amount to depriving proprietors of a considerable part of the 
equivalent for which they gave their money ; and (3), that when a tenant 
makes an acceptable offer for a farm, he does so after the fullest investiga- 
tion as to its capabilities and disadvantages, and with a good knowledge 
of the amount of game on the ground, and the damage likely to be 
occasioned thereby ; and, as thus, the amount of rent offered is fixed by 
him after all these points have received due consideration at his hands, he 
is precluded from afterwards crying out against the one-sidedness of his 
contract. It will thus be seen that there is just as much to be said on the 
one side as the other ; and clamour notwithstanding, we believe, the day 
is still distant when the legislature will step in to interfere with free con- 
tract between landlord and tenant, by laying down conditions which 
even both parties Avith their eyes open, and of mutual consent, will not 
be allowed to alter. In other words, in an age when the cry is for 
freedom from all special advantages to owners of land, such as hypothec 
and entail, so as to place it on an open footing with all other subjects, it 
would be strange, indeed, were exceptional legislation required for the 
lessees of land to give them the special advantages which the spirit of 
the age denied to their landlords. Are we to have landlord right 
levelled down while tenant right is to be levelled up? We have 
yet to see it. It cannot, however, in fairness be denied that there 
are certain circumstances in which the tenants' third complaint 
above-mentioned is just and reasonable. While a tenant is strictly 
tied down under the conditions of his lease to a certain rotation of crop- 
ping, and various other regulations regarding his use of the land, the 
proprietor is left practically unfettered as to the extent of increase of 
game that he may allow to take place. Immunity in such an event is 
secured to the latter, either by a clause to that effect in the lease or by 
the prudent reluctance of the tenant to pursue his landlord through court 
after court in the knowledge that even the extra-judicial expense of such 
procedure would quickly amount to more than the ultimate damages 
awarded, if awarded at all, and that the feelings engendered by the 
contest would stand in the way of a renewal at the expiry of the lease. 
There is here, undoubtedly, a manifest hardship to the tenant, for 
which the legislature would be justified in passing a remedial measure. 
It would quite consist with the acknowledged and equitable principles 
of jurisprudence that cheap and speedy redress for the tenant against 
such uncontemplated and undue increase of game should be provided 


by legislative enactment. All wrongs have their remedies ; but th 
remedy in such a case is not the giving an inalienable right to ground 
game to the tenant, as that Avould amount to a Avronging of the land- 
lord, who might wish to reserve such right at any cost of compensation 
to the tenant for damage really inflicted. What is desirable is, that such 
damage should be assessable, and the value thereof recoverable with the 
least possible trouble and expense to the tenant. We think that this 
could be most effectually secured by the statutory appointment in each 
county of a competent, impartial, and reliable assessor whose duty it 
would be to inspect and record the amount of game existing on every 
farm in that county at the entry of the tenant, and who would be bound 
at any future season on the application, either of the proprietor or of the 
tenant, to re-inspect that farm and report as to whether there was any 
appreciable increase in the stock of game thereon, and if so to issue an 
award and valuation of the amount of damage thereby occasioned, tho 
amount of which the tenant would be legally entitled to deduct at pay- 
ment of the next half-year's rent. The expense of this inspection, 
according to a fixed scale of charge, should be payable by the landlord 
where damages were found exigible ; but, otherwise, where the tenant's 
claim was decided to be unfounded, the whole expense would, in equity, 
be payable by him to the assessor. Of course, there are objections that 
can be raised to the adoption of this, as of any other proposed compromise ; 
but on a careful consideration they will not be found insuperable. Enthu- 
siasts there are and will remain who will demand that an inalienable right to 
ground game be gratuitously conferred upon them. But by the great majority 
of agriculturalists who think temperately it is agreed that the only possible 
settlement of the ground game question is one of compromise. We have 
been credibly informed that in the counties of Forfar and Caithness, farmers, 
to whom the right to ground game had been made over, after short 
experience of the unexpected trouble and expense connected with the due 
keeping down of hares and rabbits, had entreated their landlords to 
relieve them of tho burdeji, which they had at first unreflectingly 
and gladly assumed. 

The damage done by game on agricultural farms in the Highlands is 
altogether inconsiderable in affecting the agricultural prosperity of the 
country. Our opinion is that if the truth were fairly told farmers would 
confess that where the shoe pinches is in the pressure of high rents 
caused by their own mutual competitions for farms, rather than the 
trifling damage done by game. The bringing forward of the game 
question has been merely the trotting out of a stalking horse. There 
were no complaints of game or game laws in the good old times when 
the rents were low. Our grandfathers and great-grandfathers were 
rejoiced to furnish the laird with a good day's sport, in the fruits of 
which they generally participated. Game must have done as much harm 
then as TIOW, but farmers in those days did not feel pushed to meet the 
rent day. They could live on a smaller income ; they did not seek or 
require the same luxuries, and had less outlay in labour. Of course, a 
great deal has happened since then, but it cannot be said that for 
this the lairds are entirely to blame. Then to rent a farm was 
synonymous with making money; now it as often means tosing 


it. With higher rents, the result of a keener demand, a farmer's 
profits have "been sadly diminished, and he too often exerts his in- 
genuity in discovering grounds of deduction from a rent he feels to he 
"burdensome. On the sound enough principle of abolishing special 
privileges of all kinds he can fairly advocate the aholition of hypothec, 
hut wh.en in the same breath he turns his hack upon that principle hy 
calling for the creation of the extraordinary privilege of an inalienable 
right to ground game, he asks too much and has every probability of 
getting too little. 

There is no necessity for saying anything in reply to the attacks of a 
few pastoral tenants or large sheep farmers. It is now matter of history 
that by repeated and uncontradicted assertion a comparatively small and 
uninfluential sheep-farmer clique had thoroughly convinced themselves, 
and almost persuaded a portion of the public, that deer forests were 
responsible for all the misery and poverty in the Highlands, for all the 
cruel evictions which were carried out to make room, not for deer, but for 
those very farmers who made such a noise. Having succeeded in infect- 
ing some impressionable people, including not a few writers in the press 
who knew as little of a deer forest and its surroundings as they did of 
the great Sahara, there was at one time some danger of the outcry 
becoming general ; but the report of the Parliamentary Commission so 
completely exposed the nakedness of the land, so thoroughly demon- 
strated the absence of anything like reasonable foundation for complaint, 
as to convince even the most extreme politician of the utter absurdity of 
the position assumed. The cry never did find an echo in the heart of 
the Highlander. He knew too well that the same justice had been meted 
out to him and his by the predecessors of those very farmers, as they 
themselves were then receiving at the hands of the wealthy Sassenach. 
He knew that the evil of depopulation had been accomplished in the 
Highlands, not by the introduction of deer, but of sheep on a large scale 
by Lowland farmers before ever deer forests had come to be considered a 
Bource of revenue. It was, therefore, somewhat amusing to the High- 
land people to witness the descendants" of these Lowland nod 
homines smitten upon the thigh and roaring lustily. The only bribe 
they promised allies was the offer of mutton a twentieth of a penny per 
pound cheaper, and Highlanders refused to be bought over at that price, 
especially as its payment was more than doubtful. The deer forest 
agitation has died a natural death. Peace to its ashes. 

We have hitherto confined ourselves to discussing the so-called dis- 
advantages of the Game Laws : we have yet to consider the facts on the 
other side of the question, by which those disadvantages are altogether 
overbalanced. As the space allotted to us in this Magazine, however, has 
its limits, we will meanwhile content ourselves with enumerating seriatim a 
few of the manifold benefits accruing to the Highlands from Game Laws and 
game. These are (1), The great increase of rental from land, which is 
manifestly beneficial, not only to the proprietors, but to all classes in the 
country in which they spend their incomes ; (2), The residence in the High- 
lauds for so many months yearly of wealthy sportsmen, Avho, if game were 
unpreserved and consequently non-existent, would have no inducement so 


to reside ; (3), The rerminerative employment afforded by those sportsmen 
to the labouring classes ; (4), The profits made by shopkeepers and others 
in the various Highland towns, by supplying the requirements of such 
sportsmen ; (5), The opening up of the country by railways, which could 
not have been remuneratively effected for years yet to come in the High- 
lands Avithout the traffic afforded by the conveyance of sportsmen and 
their belongings ; (G), The advancement of civilization in the north, by 
the opening up of roads and the building of handsome Lodges in remote 
localities, and the circulation of money involved in the execution of these 

This enumeration might be extended to various minor details, but we 
think we have said enough to satisfy every candid and impartial reader 
that a very serious blow would be inflicted upon the prosperity of the 
Highlands by the abolition of the Game Laws laws which are by no 
means the antiquated and useless remains of feudalism so strongly 
denounced by Radicalism run mad. The truth of this need not be 
altogether left to abstract speculation. We have a crucial instance in the 
case of the American Republic, where the absence of such laws was felt 
to be so prejudicial to the general welfare that game regulations Avere passed 
much more stringent than in this country, and where, at present, as Mr 
J. D. Dougall in his admirable treatise on "Shooting" informs us, "there 
exist over one hundred powerful associations for the due prosecution of 
Game law delinquents, and these associations are rapidly increasing, and 
appear to be highly popular." " Here," he adds, " we have one struggling 
Anti-Game Law League : in the States there are over one hundred 
flourishing Pro-Game Law Leagues. The cry of a party here is : 
Utterly exterminate all game as vermin ; leave nothing to shoot at. The 
increasing general cry across the Atlantic is : Preserve our game and our 
fish for our genuine field sports." So long as our Game Laws continue to 
increase the prosperity of the country without infringing upon the liberty 
of the people, they stand in little need of defence ; are not much en- 
dangered by attack. 



IT is happy for the present age that the ancient manners and customs, 
which were practised in the Highlands and Islands under the Feudal 
system, have long since fallen into oblivion. It would fill volumes to 
relate the numerous practices which were then resorted to by the feudal 
lords, many of which were cruel in themselves, and entailed great hard- 
ships on their submissive vassals who were bound to obey. As the chiefs 
lad ''nil power over the life and death of their retainers, sncli of them as 
betrayed any disobedience or opposition to the stern demands of their 
superiors, rendered themselves liable to the severest punishinent, and 
frequently to nothing less than the penalty of death. The national laws 
of Kings and (Queens had then but little influence in checking or 
counteracting the peremptory enactments of Feudalism. 


The following striking instance of tlie remarkable practices alluded to 
will furnish a specimen to the readers of the Celtic Magazine, of what 
took place in Skye, not much more than a century and a half ago. 

No sooner did the death of a tenant take place than the event was 
announced to the laird of the soil. The Land-Stewart, or ground-officer, 
incurred the displeasure of his master unless that announcement were 
made no later than three days after it had occurred. Immediately after 
the deceased farmer had been consigned to the grave, the disconsolate 
widow, if he had left one, was waited upon by a messenger from the 
landlord, to deliver up to him the best horse on the farm, such being 
reckoned then the legal property of the owner of the soil. This rule was 
as unalterable as the laws of the Medes and Persians. On large and 
extensive farms the demand was submitted to without much complaint, by 
the widow, children, or heirs of the deceased, but it pressed hard upon 
the occupiers of small tenements of land, and particularly so on helpless 
widows. But whoever refused, or attempted to evade this heartless 
enactment, forfeited every right to their farms in futiire, and became liable 
to have all their goods and chattels confiscated to the laird. It frequently 
happened that a poor farmer had but one horse, yet even this circumstance 
did not mitigate the cruelty of the practice ; for the solitary animal was 
taken away, and frequently so to the great distress of the younger 
branches of the orphan family, who mourned bitterly, and often shed tears 
for the loss of their favourite animal. 

A circumstance took place in the parish of Strath, which was, it is 
said, the means of abolishing this abominable rule. About the beginning 
of the seventeenth century a farmer, of the name of Mackinnon, was 
gathered to his fathers in the parish, and after his interment the laird's 
messenger visited the afflicted widow, and, as usual, demanded the best 
horse on her little farm. Her husband having been a kinsman of the 
laird, and expecting, in her distress, to receive some sympathy from her 
chief, and at all events, some relaxation of that rule which had been all 
along so resistlessly put in force, she showed much reluctance to part with 
the animal. Seeing this, the officer became more and more determined to 
have it. The widow, in the same manner, became more and more deter- 
mined in her refusal, and appealed to him in vain to submit the case to 
the decision of her chief. The officer was inexorable, and becoming in* 
censed at the woman's pertinacity he turned from words to blows, and 
inflicted some severe wounds on the helpless female to the effusion of 
blood. She, however, retaliated, and through desperation, assuming more 
courage, addressed her little son, a boy of four, that stood weeping by her 
side, and said to him in her own emphatic vernacular : 

" Cha mhac mar an t-athair thu, a' Lachlainn Oig, 
Mar diol thu le fuil droch caithreamh do mbathar ; 
'S mar small thu gu has, le dioghaltas air choir, 
Am borb-f hear fiadhaich so, am mdrtair gu'n nar ! " 

Literally translated : 

' Thou art not a son like tfoe father, my young Lachlan, 
Unless tbou requite with blood the ill-treatment of thy mother ; 
And unless thou dash to death, with due revenge, 
This fierce and savage fellow- this bare faced murderer !" 


The mother's charge to her boy cannot be said to be tempered with much 
Christian feeling or principle, yet it was according to the generally 
cherished practices of the system under which she lived. Then it was 
that might was right, and revenge bravery. But to return to the subject 
the widow's cries and tears, excitement and eloquence, were all in vaiti. 
The officer made off with the horse and delivered it to his chief. 

Matters went on in this way, in various quarters, for a considerable 
time, until at length, and about twenty years thereafter, the same officer 
appeared on the same errand at a neighbouring widow's door, and deprived 
her as usual of her best horse. The circumstance was brought under the 
notice of Lachlan Og, and having been, no doiibt, frequently reminded 
of the cruelty inflicted by that official on his mother, was determined to 
embrace the present befitting occasion for displaying his dire revenge. It 
may be stated that young Lachlau was noted in the district for his great 
agility and muscular strength. He made no delay in pursuing the officer, 
and having come up to him at the distance of some miles, he seized him 
by the neck and sternly demanded the widow's horse, reminding him, at 
the same time, of the treatment inflicted by him on his mother twenty 
years before. The officer stood petrified with fear, seeing fierceness and 
revenge depicted so very unmistakably in young Mackinnon's face. Yet 
still he grasped the animal by the halter, and would not permit his 
youthful assailant to intermeddle with it. The strife commenced, and that 
in right earnest, but in a few moments the officer fell lifeless on the 
ground. Mackinnon, seizing his dirk, dissevered the head from the body, 
and Avashed it in a fountain by the wayside, which is still pointed out to 
the traveller as " Tobar a' ckinn" or " The Well of the Head." He then, 
at once, mounted the horse, and galloped off to the residence of his chief, 
carrying the bloody head in his left hand on the point of his dirk. His 
appearance at the main entrance, with the ghastly trophy still bleeding in 
his hand, greatly alarmed the- menials of the mansion. Without dis- 
mounting he inquired if Mackinnon was at home, and being told that he 
was, he said, " Go and tell my Chief that I have arrived to present him 
with the head of his officer ' Donuuchadh Mor,' in case that he might 
wish to embalm it and hang it x;p in his baronial hall as a trophy of 
heartlessness and cruelty." The message was instantly delivered to the 
laird, who could not believe that such a diabolical deed could be perpe- 
trated by any of his clan, but still he came out to see. On his appearance 
in the court, Lachlan Og dismounted, did obeisance to his chief, and 
prominently exhibited the dripping head, by lifting it up on his dirk. 
"What is this, Lachlan, what murder is this?" asked the excited chief. 
Lachlan explained the whole in full detail, and related the circumstances 
of the present transaction, as well as of the inhuman treatment which his 
mother had received when he was a child. The chieftain pondered, 
paused, and declared that these cruelties had been practised unknown 
to him. He granted a free pardon to Lachlan Og, appointed him his 
officer in room of Donnuchadh Mor, and issued an edict over all his estate 
that thereafter neither widow nor orphan, heir, nor kindred, would ever 
be deprived by iiiiu of Ih.'ir horse, or of ;uiy other part of their property. 







THESE acts of loyalty by the Highlanders in recognition of their Stewart 
Princes were not long concluded when the same virtue was called into action 
to defeat the intentions of other rebels (as they were rudely termed) from 
disputing the authority of the British Soverign, or dismembering any 
portion of his territory in the American colonies. An abridged outline 
of what came to be the War of Independence may not be out of place 
or uninteresting even at this distant date. 

North America had been chiefly colonised by the British people 
the settlements of the Dutch and French were few and unimportant. 
The colonists were in the enjoyment of liberal institutions, and the 
country being fertile, the population rapidly increased ; while, at the same 
time, immigrants from Europe continued to arrive annually on its shores. 
The mother country being oppressed with debt, it was proposed to make 
her Transatlantic subjects contribute a portion towards her relief. This 
resulted in the imposition of a stamp duty on various articles. The 
Americans would neither afford assistance, nor would they sanction the 
taxation proposed to be placed on tea, &c. ; and at a meeting of Congress 
resolutions of separation were adopted, followed by the Act of Declaration 
of Independence. George III. and his Parliament determined on chastis- 
ing the recusants, and hence the commencement of the American Civil 
"War. Jealousy of Great Britain, and a desire to humble her, induced 
France to join the Americans, as also did Spain. Against the combined 
efforts of these allies, |ho we ver, the British sustained unsullied their ancient 
renown. The war continued with alternate successes, and disappoint- 
ments to the contending parties for about six years, at the end of which 
honourable peace was concluded between them, and America was hence- 
forth declared an Independent State ; and in acknowledgment of the 
able services rendered to her, the colonists elected General Washington as 
the first president of the new Republic. 

During the progress of the war the Americans were guilty of many 
acts of cruelty to whomsoever fell into their hands, some of which 
fell to the share of Alan Cameron. The Royal Highland Regiment, 
to which ho was attached, was stationed in Quebec when Canada 
was threatened with invasion by General Arnold at the head of 3000 
men. The colonel of Alan's regiment (Maclean) who had been 
detached up the river St Lawrence, returned by forced marches and 
entered Quebec without being noticed by Arnold. The fortifications of 
the city had been greatly neglected, and were scarcely of any use for the 
purposes of defence. The strength of the British within its walls was 
under 1200, yet they repulsed the repeated attacks of the American 
generals. Here it was that Alan Cameron came for the first time into 
hostile contact with the enemy, and both his regiment and himself 


acquitted themselves with great gallantry on one occasion in particular, 
Avheii an assault was made liy Generals Arnold and Montgomery, in 
which the latter was killed and the other wounded. Arnold foiled in this 
attempt, established himself on the heights of Abraham, thus blockading 
the town and reducing the garrison to great straits ; but this was all he 
succeeded in, as he was beaten in every attempt to gain possession of the 
lower town, l>y the intrepid gallantry of Colonel Maclean and his High- 

On the approach of spring General Arnold despairing of success, 
withdrew his forces, raised the siege, and evacuated the whole of Canada. 
Released from this defence the battalion entered on enterprises in different 
parts of the province, and to enable it to do so more effectually, Colonel 
Maclean transformed a limited number of it into a cavalry corps, for out- 
post duties and otherwise acting as scouts. Of this body Alan Cameron got 
the command. Daring and sometimes over-zealous, he often led himself and 
his company into situations of desperate danger. On one occasion they 
were surrounded by a strong force of the enemy, from which they escaped 
with the utmost difficulty, and only by the personal prowess of each 
individual and the fleetness of their steeds. The Americans communica- 
ted with the British commander to the effect that " this fellow (Alan) and 
his men had been guilty of tho ^/military proceeding of tampering with 
the native Indians in their loyalty to American interests," stating a deter- 
mination of vengeance as the consequence. It is not known whether 
Alan Avas apprised of this charge or not ; at any rate he continued his 
incursions for some time. The threat was not unintentional, as the 
succeeding events proved, and an unfortunate opportunity enabled the 
enemy to give it effect. Alan and nearly one-half of his company weie 
seized. The latter they made prisoners of war, but committed him to the 
jail of Philadelphia as a common felon, where he was kept for two years 
and treated with the most vindictive harshness. This proceeding was 
denounced by the British General as " contrary to all military usage," but 
his representations proved unavailing. 

The ardent nature of the imprisoned Highlander chafed under 
restraint, and finding no hope of release he was constant in vigilance 
to procure his escape. This he was at last enabled to effect through 
his jailer having neglected to fasten the window of his place of 
confinement, which was on the third storey. His ingenuity was 
put to the severest test. He, however, managed to tie part of the bed- 
clothes to the bars of the window, and descended with its aid. The 
blanket was either too short, or it gave way ; anyhow Alan came to the 
ground from a considerable height, and being a heavy man, in the fall 
he severely injured the ankles of botli feet. In this crippled state he 
was scarcely able to get away to any great distance, but somehow 
managed to elude the search of his enemies. 

Although the Americans, as a nation, were in arms against Great 
Britain, still among them were many families and individuals who 
were slow to forget their ties of kinship with the people of the 
" old country," and Philadelphia contained many possessing such a 
feeling. Alan, on his first arrival in that country, became ac- 


quainted with and obtained the friendship of more than one of these 
families. To the house of one of them, in his emergency, he decided on 
going. This was a Mr Phineas Bond (afterwards Consul- General in that 
city) who received the prisoner without hesitation, and treated him with 
the utmost consideration. Alan, however, before he would accept shelter 
and hospitality, explained to Mr Bond his condition and how he became 
a prisoner, adding that he merely desired rest for a day or two to enable 
him to escape towards the British cantonments. Mr Bond made him 
welcome and promised him every assistance. Both were fully impressed 
with the danger and delicacy of their position, and Alan, like an honour- 
able soldier was now more anxious about that of his host than his own. 
He, therefore, embraced the very first opportunity of relieving his 
chivalrous friend of so undesirable a guest. 

Without entering into details as to the " nature of his escape, it 
is enough to state that after frequent chances of being recaptured, 
he arrived at a station where some British troops were quartered. 
Among these were some officers and men with whom he had served 
in the early part of the campaign, but he had become so altered 
in condition that they scarcely believed him to be the Alan Cameron 
they knew. His relative (Colonel Maclean) sent his aide-camp to 
have him conveyed to head-quarters, on arrival at which he was most 
attentive to do everything that could be done. Medical inspection 
however, pronounced Alan unfit for active service for at least a year. 
This was disappointing news to him, as he feared his career in the army 
was likely in consequence to come to an untimely end. Colonel Maclean 
recommended him to repair at once to Europe and procure the most 
skilful advice for the treatment of his wounds and broken limbs. Alan 
concurred and returned to England on sick leave, where he arrived in 

He had not been many months at home when news arrived of the 
conclusion of the war ; and with that happy consummation Colonel Maclean's 
corps was reduced, the officers were placed on the " provincial list " a 
grade not known in the army at the present day Government, in addition 
to their pay, giving them and the other men grants of lands in the following 
proportions 5000 acres to a field officer ; 3000 to a captain ; 500 to a 
subaltern; 200 to a sergeant ; and a 100 to each soldier. These condi- 
tions were applicable only to those who remained in or returned within a 
given time to the colony. In the case of absentees one-half of the above 
number of acres was the extent of the grants, but they were allowed to 
sell their lots. As Alan had been promoted to the rank of Captain he 
had 1500 acres which he turned into cash. This capital and his pay was 
the only means possessed by this " provincial officer." He was, however, 
only one of many similiarly situated on the termination of the American 


THE transport ship brought home other invalids besides Alan Cameron, 
one of whom, Colonel Mostyn, and himself came to be on terms of warm 
friendship. This gentleman, descended from one of the best families in 
Wales, and having many relatives resident in London, was of considerable 


service to Alan in the mat tor of introductions to the society of these rela- 
tions and other friends. " American officers," as those returned from the war, 
were termed, were welcomed wherever met with. Among them Alan was 
not the least distinguished, perhaps the more so on account of his unfor- 
tunate adventure with his Lochaber adversary in the duel; and his 
subsequent distinguished career in America. 

At the house of one of Colonel Mostyn's relatives, Alan met a young lady 
who was destined not many months after to become his wife. This was 
the only child of Nathaniel Philips 'of Sleebeich Hall, Pembrokeshire. 
The heiress of a wealthy squire was beyond Alan's expectations ; besides 
he understood there were more than one aspirant for her hand, who were 
themselves possessors of many broad acres, therefore it could scarcely 
occur to the mind of the " provincial officer" to enter the lists against 
such influential competitors. However that may be, Alan's success with 
the lady may have been much the same as that of another with Desde- 
niona : " Her father bade me tell the story of my life, the battlee, sieges, 
and fortunes I had passed. I ran it through, even from my boyish days ; 
of the moving accidents by flood and field ; of the hair-breadth 'scapes 
and the imminent deadly breach ; and of being taken by the insolent 
foe. To these things would Desdemona seriously incline, and devour up 
my discourse. When I did speak of some distressful stroke, that I had 
suffered, she gave me a world of sighs. She wished she had not heard 
it ; but bade me, if I had a friend that loved her, I should teach him how 
to tell my story, and that would woo her." Duke " I think this tale 
would win my daughter too." 

Alan Cameron became the favoured suitor of Miss Philips, but both 
felt the barrier of the Squire's consent to be insurmountable. Nor was 
there any circumstance likely to arise in favour of Alan's worldly position 
to make him acceptable to Mr Philips as his son-in-law. Honourable 
conduct acted on Alan's feelings, and directed the proper course to be 
pursued. He made his visits to the house of their mutual friend less 
often and at greater intervals. Squire Philips was at the time, and had 
for some fe\r years, been a widower ; and it was reported and be-lieved that 
he was contemplating a second marriage. Moreover, the intended spouse 
was scarcely yet out of her teens, while he was past middle age, and his 
daughter was also her senior. Her father's intentions created disappoint- 
ment, if not dissatisfaction in Miss Philips' mind, which, it is alleged, was one 
of the causes that moved her not to view elopement with serious objection. 
There is no record of the occurrence to guide further reference than that 
Alan Cameron and Miss Philips had betaken themselves to Gretna 
Green without the knowledge or consent of her father, where marriages 
were solemnised without the preliminary formalities necessary at Hanover 
Square. Notwithstanding that a pursuit ensued either by the parent or 
other friends, it was not successful in interrupting the marriage of the 
runaway pair. 

Instead of returning to London with his bride, Alan went towards 
the capital of his native country, where he and his wife remained for 
several months. It now, however, became almost a necessity that he 
would get into some office, the emoluments of which would add to his 


slender income. After some delay he was fortunate in getting an appoint- 
ment through the intercession of a friend with whom he had served in 
America. This appointment was on the militia staff of one of the 
English counties. Alan retained it until the fortune of events reduced 
the displeasure of the father-in-law to that state when mutual friends 
thought they could do something to induce the Squire to forgive and 
forget. These friends did not fail to take advantage of this state of 
feeling, and embraced the opportunity to obtain for Alan an intervieAV 
with his wife's father, which resulted, as desired by all, in full forgiveness 
to both son and daughter. This reconciliation, like the wooing of Miss 
Philips, was also somewhat after the manner of that of Desdemona's father, 
who replied, " I had rather adopt a child than get it. Come hither. I 
do give thee that with all my heart, which but thou hast already Avith 
all my heart, I would keep from thee. For your sake I am glad I have 
no other child, thy escape would teach me tyranny." This act of grace 
was important to Alan, as the allowance to his wife, which followed, 
enabled them to live in affluence in comparison with their past state. 

Squire Philips had not married at the time rumour had formerly 
assigned, but he did enter into that state, and that after he had become a 
sexagenarian. By the second marriage the Squire unlike the father 
in the play " had another child." ' This child is yet living, in the person 
of the venerable Dowager Countess of Lichfield, herself the mother of a 
numerous family of sons and daughters, including the present peer, as also 
the wife of the noble lord the member for the county of Haddington. 

(lo be Continued). 

HIGHLAND MELODIES. The Gaelic Society of London finding that regret 
has been frequently expressed that the plaintive melodies of the Highlands 
should be allowed to pass away, have, we are glad to learn, taken steps to 
preserve them in a permanent form, and are now preparing for publication a 
selection of the best and most popular airs. The verses will be given in 
Gaelic and English, and the pianoforte accompaniments are arranged with 
special attention to their distinctive characteristics by Herr Louis Honig, 
Professor of Music, London ; while slight variations are introduced to render 
the melodies more acceptable to the general taste. Editions of the Dance 
Tunes of our country are numerous, but the Gaelic vocal airs, set to music, 
have not hitherto been attainable. The issue is limited to 250 copies, which 
the Society are patriotically supplying at cost price namely, 10s 6d per 
copy ; or free by post to the Colonies for 12s. We feel assured that this 
want has only to be known to secure the necessary number of subscribers 
for the few remaining copies. 




THE above is the title on the outside of a book by the Rev. Canon 
Bourke, president of St Jarlath's College, Tuani, Ireland. The book is in 
every respect a wonderful and interesting one to the Celt, at home and 
abroad, whether he be Scotch or Irish. Time was when the Scottish 
Celt looked with great suspicion on his Irish cousin, while the Irishman 
had no great love for his Scottish neighbour. Even yet a good deal of 
this feeling prevails, particularly among the uneducated. 

Our own experience, however, has been that the Irish Celt is not 
behind the Scotch Gael in generosity and all the other virtues which are 
the special characteristics of the race. The book before us is in several 
respects calculated to strengthen the friendship which is being rapidly 
formed, and which ought to subsist among the intelligent of each of the 
two great branches of the Celtic family Scotch and Irish. Frequent 
references of an appreciating and commendable kind are made in this work 
to the labours of Scotchmen in the field of Celtic literature. Canon 
Bourke, like a true-hearted son of Ireland, with that magnanimity 
characteristic of the race, holds out his right hand to every Scottish 
scholar in the field of Celtic or Keltic research, and says in effect Cia 
mar a tha tliu ? Buaidh gu'n rdbh air d'obair ! 

Although the " Aryan Origin of the Celtic Eaces and Language " is 
all the title on the cover, inside the book, the title is much more compre- 
hensive, consisting, as it does, altogether of 27 lines. But even this largo 
and comprehensive title-page does not give anything like an adequate idea 
of the extent and variety of the contents of the book. Taking it up with 
the expectation of finding a learned treatise on the Aryan origin of the 
Celtic race and Celtic languages one will be disappointed ; but no one will 
be disappointed with the work as a whole, for though its contents do not 
bear throughout on the above subject, they are all thoroughly Celtic ; and 
as a collection of Celtic gleanings, will well repay a perusal. It is, indeed. 
a sort of Celtic repository the writer's Celtic reading for many years 
being apparently thrown into a crucible, and having undergone a certain 
process there, are forged out into the handsome and bulky volume before 
us. It has, however, all the appearance of having been very hastily got 
up. Indeed, in the preface, which is dated, " Feast of the Nativity of the 
B.V.M., 1875," we are told that a mere accident has given (lie first 
impulse to the composition of the work, and that accident appears to have 
been that at a social meeting of Irish clergymen in 1874 the subject of 
conversation turned on the language and antiquities of Ireland. 

After doing justice to the "Four Masters," of whom Irishmen are. 


with good reason, so very proud, the decay of the Gaelic language in 
Ireland is alluded to, and the cause of that decay described at some 
length, and it is pointed out that, in consequence of this neglect, when an 
Irish patriot appeals to the sentiment of his race, the appeal must be 
made, not in the language of old Ireland, but in the language of the 
conquering Saxon. Father Mullens in his lament for the Celtic language 
of his countrymen " must wail his plaint in Saxon words and Saxon 
idiom, lest his lamentation should fall meaningless on the ears of Ireland." 
And this decay Father Mullens pathetically describes : 

It is fading ! it is fading ! like the leaves upon the trees, 

It is dying ! it is dying ! like the Western Ocean breeze, 

It is fastly disappearing as the footsteps on the shore, 

Where the Barrow arid the Erne, and Loch Swilly's waters roar ; 

Where the parting sunbeam kisses the Corrib in the west, 

And the ocean like a mother clasps the Shannon to its breast : 

The language of old Eire, of her history and name, 

Of her monarchs and her heroes, of her glory and her fame ; 

The sacred shrine where rested through her sunshine and her gloom 

The spirit of her martyrs as their bodies in the tomb ! 

The time-wrought shell, where murmured through centuries of wrong 

The secret shrine of freedom in annal and in song, 

Is surely fastly sinking into silent death at last, 

To live but in the memory and relics of the past ! 

In Ireland as in some other countries (perhaps we may say with some 
degree of truth in our own Highlands of Scotland) the simple uneducated 
peasants are, in the law courts, treated with the greatest display of harsh- 
ness because they cannot give evidence in the English tongue. Canon 
Bourke refers to a case of this nature that occurred during the last year 
in Tuam. A witness, Sally Ryan, who appeared to have understood 
English, but could not speak it, and consequently would not give her 
evidence in that language, was removed as an incompetent witness ! Is 
that justice 1 We know that in the courts in Scotland a good deal of 
harshness is occasionally used towards witnesses who cannot speak English. 

The fact remains, that in the Highlands there are many whose only 
language is Gaelic, and if their Saxon rulers have a desire to administer 
the law justly they must learn to deal more gently with such as are 
ignorant of the English language. "We also know from personal observa- 
tion that Gaelic witnesses frequently give evidence by means of very 
incompetent interpreters, thoroughly ignorant of the idiom of the 
language, and are thus very often misrepresented. A bungling interpreter 
bungles a witness, and nothing is more calculated to invalidate evidence 
than being given in a loose incoherent manner. On this point we are 
at one with the learned Canon Bourke. 

Considerable space is devoted to the pronunciation of the word Celtic 
the question being whether it should be pronounced Keltic or Celtic. 
Professor Bourke argues, and gives good reasons, that it should be written 
Keltic and pronounced Keltic. He is unquestionably right in his conten- 
tion for the pronunciation, but as we have no K in the Scotch or Irish 
Gaelic alphabet it is difficult to agree with him as to the spelling, but the 
fact remains that it is almost universally pronounced Seltic and written 
Celtic, and has in that form taken such a root that it can scarcely be ever 
altered. What then is the use of fighting over it? In the compass of 


this necessarily short review it is quite impossible to give an adequate 
idea of the work before us. While the work exhibits great learning and 
research, we think the rev. author might have bestowed more care on 
such a valuable work. Several typographical errors present themselves, 
and in many cases the Professor's composition exhibits clear evidence 
of undue haste in the writing and arrangement. But humanum est errane. 
Nothing is perfect, and the book before ns is no exception to the general 
rule. The Celtic student will, however, find it invaluable, and no one 
who takes an interest in Celtic philology, antiquity, manners, and cus- 
toms (indeed everything and anything Celtic), should be without a copy ; 
for it is a perfect store of Celtic learning. 

Memoir and Notes by the KEV. ALEX. STEWART, "Nether Lochaber." Issued in 12 
Parts at 2* each, Inverness : Hugh Mackenzie, Bank Lane. Edinburgh : Maclachlau 
& Stewart. Glasgow : John Tweed. 

WE have before us the first and second parts of this valuable work. The 
Frontispiece is a coloured plate of two Highland Chief's dressed in the 
Stewart and Gordon tartans ; and the" other engravings, which are well 
got up, are in every case fac-similes of those in the original Edition, which 
had become so scarce that it was difficult to procure it even at a very high 
price. Logan's Scottish Gad has long been held as the best authority on 
the antiquities and national peculiarities of Scotland, especially on those 
of the Northern or Gaelic parts of the country where some of the peculiar 
habits of the aboriginal race have been most tenaciously retained. 

Tlie valuable superintendence and learned notes of " Nether- Locha- 
ber," one of our best Celtic scholars and antiquarians, will very materially 
enhance the value of the work, which is well printed in clear bold type, 
altogether creditable to the printer and to the editor, but, particularly so, 
to the public-spirited publisher. We have no hesitation in recommending 
the work to all who take an interest in the Literature of the Gael. 




Dedicated ly permission to the REV. GEORGE GILFILLAN. 

When balmy spring 

Has ceased to wring 
The youthful bud from the old oak tree, 

And the sweet primrose 

No longer glows 
On the glad hill-side by the sunfilled sea ; 

When the Cuckoo's wail 
Has ceased to go 

O'er hill and dale 
In a pensive flow, 

And the deepest shade 

In the woods is made, 
And the brightest bloom on the fields is laid; 

When the lord of light 
"With a lover's pride 

Pours a beauty bright 
O'er his blushing bride, 

That lies below 

His glowing gaze, 
In a woodland glow, and a flowery blaze ; 

When winter's gloom 
Of wind and rain 

Is lost in the bloom 
Of the flower-lit plain, 

And his ruins grey 

Have died away 
In the love-sent breath of the smiling day; 

When the beauteous hours 

Of the twilight still 
With dewy tears in their joy-swelled eyes 

See the peaceful flowers 

On the cloudless hill 
Send scented gifts to the grateful skies ; 
And the wave-like grain 
O'er the sea-like plain 
In peaceful splendour essays to rise ; 
From my silent birth in the flowery land 

Of the sunny south 

At time's command. 
As still as the breath of a rosy mouth, 
Or rippling wave on the sighing sand, 
Or surging grass by the stony strand, 
I come with odour of shrub and flower 
Stolen from field and sunny bower 
From lowly cot and lordly tower. 
Borne on my wings the soul-like cloud 
That snowy, mountain-shading shroud 

That loves to sleep 

On the sweet hill's crest, 

As still as the deep 

With its voice at rest, 
Is wafted in dreams to iis peaceful nest ; 

At my command 

The glowing laud 

Scorched by the beams of the burning sun, 

Listing the sounds of the drowsy bees, 
Thirsting for rain, and the dews that come 
When light has died on the surging sens, 
Awakes to life, and health, and joy ; 
I pour a life on the sickening trees, 
And wake the birds to their sweet employ, 
Amidst the flowers of the lowly leas ; 

From the sweet woodbine 

That loves to twine 
Its arms of love round the homes of men, 

Or laugh in the sight 

Of the sun's sweet light 
'Midst the flower gemmed scenes of the 

song-filled glen, 
And the full-blown rose that loves to blush 

'Midst the garden bowers 

Where the pensive hours 
Awaiting the bliss of the summer showers 
List to the songs of the warbling thrush, 
I steal the sweets of their fragrant breath ; 

From the lily pale 

That seems to wail 

With snow-like face 

And pensive grace [death, 

O'er the bed that bends o'er the deeds of 

I brush the tears 
That she loves to shed 

For the early biers 

Of the lovely dead. 

When still twilight with dew-dimmed eye 
Sees the lord of light from the snow-white 

Descend at the sight [sky, 

Of the coming night, 
'Midst the waves of the deathful sea to die ! 

When glowing day 

Has passed away 

In peace on the tops of the dim seen hills, 
That pour from their hearts the tinkling 

That dance and leap [rills 

In youthful pride, 

To the brimming river, deep and wide, 
That bears them in rest to their distant 

And the gladsome ocean [sleep ; 

That ever presses 
The bridal earth in fond caresses, 
Kages no more in a wild commotion ; 
When the distant hills appear to grow 
At the touch of evening bright, 
And the sunless rivers seem to go 
With a deeper music in their flow, 
Like dream s thro' the peaceful night, 

I fade away 

With the dying day, [ray ! 

Like the lingering gleam of the sun's sweet 



No. V. MARCH 1876. 


VKRY interesting and instructive, though very sad it is to ckronicle 
certain undeniable and not unfrequent facts in the history of human 
nature, outbursts, as Carlyle calls them, of the feral nature, that element 
which man holds in common with the brutes, and which, when it breaks 
forth in him, assumes, by contrast, a more hideous and savage character 
than in them, even as fire seems more terrible in a civilized city than 
amidst a howling wilderness ; among palaces and bowers than among 
heathery moorlands or masses of foliage, and even as the madness of a man 
is more fearful than that of a beast. It is recorded of Bishop Butler that 
one day walking in his garden along Avith his Chaplain immersed in silent 
thought, lie suddenly paused and turning round asked him if he thought 
that nations might go mad as well as individuals. What reply the- 
Chaplain gave we, are not informed; but fifty years after the French 
Revolution with its thunder-throat answered the Bishop's question. Xay 
it had been answered on a less scale before by Sicilian Vespers Massacres 
of Bartholomew, and the Massacre of Glencoe, and lias been answered since, 
apart from France, in Jamaica, India, and elsewhere. God has made of 
one blood all nations that dwell on the face of the earth. Yet alas, 
that blood when possessed by the spirit of wrath, of revenge, of fierce 
patriotism, or of profound religious zeal, and heated sevenfold, becomes an 
element only inferior in intensity to what we ca>i conceive of the passions 
of hell, such as Dante has painted in his Ugolino in the Inferno, gnawing 
his enemy's skull for evermore ; such as Michael Angelo has sculptured on 
the roof of the Sistinc Chapel, in eyes burning with everlasting fury, and 
fists knotted to discharge blows, the least of which were death, but 
which hang there arrested as if for ever on the walls, and such as Milton 
has represented in Moloch's unappeaseable malignity, and in Satan's 
inexorable hate. 

It is to one of these frightful outcomes of human ferocity, an event 
with which even after a period of 200 years that all Scotland, and 
especially all the Highlands, rings from side to side, and which unborn 
generations shall shudder at, that we propose to turn the attention of the 
readers of the Ccitic M<i<j<i:.ine. "\Ve do so partly, no doubt, from the 
extreme interest of th<- subject, and partly also, because important lessons 
of humanity, of forgiveness, of hatred at wrong and oppression, of the 
benefits nf civilization, of the gratitude we feel for the extinction of clan 



quarrels and feuds, and the thousand other irregularities and inhumanities 
which once defaced the grandest of landscapes, and marred a noble and 
a manly race of men ; because such lessons may be, if not formally 
drawn, yet may pervade and penetrate the whole etory as with a living 

The occasion of the Massacre of Glencoe was as follows : Although 
the Lowlands, since the date of the Eevolution, were now quiet, it was 
far different Avith the Highlands. There, indeed, the wind was down, but 
still the sea ran high. The Highlanders were at that time very poor, very 
discontented, and very pugnacious. To subdue them seemed a long and 
difficult process. To allow them to exterminate one another, and re-enact 
on a much larger scale, the policy of the battle between the clans on the 
Xorth Inch of Perth seemed as unwise as it was cruel. There was a third 
course proposed and determined on, that of buying them up, bribing 
them in short, applying that golden spur which has, in all ages, made 
the laziest horse to go, and the most restive to be obedient. The Govern- 
ment of King William resolved to apply to this purpose a sum variously 
estimated at 12,000 and 20,000. This sum Avas committed to John, 
Earl of Breadalbane, the head of a powerful branch of the great Clan 
Campbell. He was one of the most unprincipled men of that day ; had 
turned his coat, and Avould have turned his skin had it been possible and 
Avorth Avhile ; and is described by a contemporary as " Grave as a 
Spaniard, cunning as a fox, Aviry as a serpent, and slippery as an eel." 
He Avas the Avorst of persons to have the charge of pacifying the High- 
lands committed to him, being distrusted by both parties, and hated by 
the Jacobites Avith a deadly hatred. Nevertheless the negotiations went 
on, although sloAvly. Breadalbane lived at Kilchurn Castle, which, noAV 
a fine old ruin, stands on the verge of the magnificent Loch Awe, looks 
up to the gigantic Ben Cruachan, and which Words\vorth has glorified 
in one of his finest minor poems. To that romantic castle, IIOAV silent 
in its age, but then resounding Avith the music and revelry of the clans, 
Avere to be seen some of the leading Jacobite chieftains crossing the 
mighty mountains to the northwest, and holding conferences Avith the 
crafty head of the Campbells ; and on the 30th of January 1690 a large 
assembly met at Achallaster in Glenorchy, to arrange matters betAveen the 
Earl and the Highlanders, but in vain. There was mutual distrust. The 
chiefs were Avilling to come to terms, but they suspected that Breadalbane 
meant to deceive them and to keep a portion of the cash in his own 
Sporran. He, on the other hand ill-doers "being usually ill-dreaders 
thought that they were playing a double game. More than a year passed in 
fruitless negotiations, and the autumn of 1691 saAv the matter unsettled. 
At last Lord Stair and the other advisers of the King resolved to try the 
effect of threats as Avell as bribes ; and in August they issued a proclama- 
tion promising an indemnity to every rebel who should SAvear the oath 
of allegiance in the presence of a Civil Magistrate before the 1st January 
1692, and threatening with dire penalties, letters of fire and sword, as 
they Avere called, all Avho delayed beyond that day. The proclamation 
Avas draAvn up by Stair in conjunction with Breadalbane. He had Avished 
to form a Highland Regiment in favour of Government, and to got, if 
possible, all the Highland chiefs to transfer their allegiance from King 


James to the New Dynasty. This he found very difficult. The chiefs 
were loud enough of the money, but fonder at heart of the Stewarts. 
Many of them, including the Macdonalds stood out for more favourable 
terms. The negotiations were broken of, and the fatal proclamation was 
issued. Stair's letters show to a certainty that he and King "William's 
Government cherished the hope that the chiefs would not submit at all, 
or at least that they would hold on beyond the prescribed time. Like 
Hydcr AH. as described by Burke, he had determined, in the gloomy 
recesses of a mind capacious of such things, to make the broad Highlands 
a monument of his vengeance. 

The great object, let it be remembered, of the Government was to get 
the troops employed in the Highlands disengaged and free for service in 
other places. To serve this purpose they were willing to pay a certain 
sum, but if this proved ineffectual they were still more willing to inilict 
summary punishment on the principal offenders. Hence Stair had collected 
troops at Inverlochy, had resolved to take advantage of the winter when 
the passes would be probably stopped with snow, and when the High- 
landers, not expecting the attack, would be likely to fall an easy prey. 
And thus, not like an injured and infuriated Hyder Ali, but like a tiger 
on the edge of his jungle, did this inhuman lawyer lie eagerly biding his 
time. Hear his own language illustrating a character Avhom Macaulay 
elaborately defends. "11' the rest are willing, as crows do, to pull down 
Glengarry's nest so as the King be not hindered from drawing four 
regiments from Scotland, in that case the destroying him and his clan 
will be to the full as acceptable as his coming in." What a fiend in the 
form of one pretending to worship equity and distribute justice ! 

It is generally thought that the chiefs got information of the designs 
of their enemies, probably by communication from King James. At all 
events, in the end of the year to the profound mortification of Stair, the 
principal of them, Lochiel, Glengarry, Clanranald, Keppoch, and others 
came forward and took the oath of allegiance, all save one, Maclan, or 
Mardonald of Glencoc. Stair, as chief after chief took the oath, had 
been more and more chagrined and desirous that some one or other of the 
clans should refuse and become the victim of his vengeance. And one such 
tribe did at last fall into his vindictive and quivering jaws. It was the 
tribe of the Macdonalds, inhabiting, as a munition of rocks, the Valley of 
( Jleiicoe. 

Glencoe is well known to the lovers of the picturesque as one of the 
very grandest scenes in Scotland. "We have seen some of the sublimes! 
scenes in Switzerland and in Norway, but none of them, not Chamouni 
nor the Komsdale Valley have obliterated the memory or lessened the 
admiration of that awful glen which we have often thought of as a 
softened Sinai a smaller but scarcely gentler similtude of the Mount 
that might be touched. There are, of cours-?, many diversities. Through 
tln> valley of Glencoe winds a stream called the Cona a name of perfect 
music, sul't us Italian, and which seems the very echo of the pathetic 
and perpetual \vail of a lonely river. No such stream laves the foot 
ot Sinai's savage hill. Then there lies below one of the boldest hills 
of the pass, a lovely little sheet of water, being the Cona dispread into a 


small lake looking up with childlike, trustful, untrembling, eye to the 
lowering summits above, and here and there a fine verdure creeps up the 
precipices and green pastures, and still waters encompass hills on which 
Aaron might have \vaited for death, or Moaes ascended to meet God. 
But the mural aspect of many of the precipices, the rounded shape of 
some of the mountains contrasted with the sharp razor-like ridges of 
others, the deep and horrid clefts and ravines which yawn here and 
there, the extent, dreariness, solitude, and grandeur of the mountain 
range above the summits you see, but scarcely see behind their nearer 
brethren, as though retiring like proud and lonely spirits into their own 
inaccessible hermitages, the appearance of convulsion and tearing in pieces 
and rending in twain, and unappeasable unreconciliation which insulates as 
it were, and lifts on end the whole region are those of Horeb, as we have 
seen it in picture or in dream, and the beholder might, on a cloudy and 
dark day, or on an evening which has set all the hills on fire, become awe- 
struck and silent, as if waiting for another Avatar of the Ancient One 
on the thundersplit and shaggy peaks/ In other moods, and when seen 
from a distance while sailing from Fort- William, its mountains have 
suggested the image of the last survivors of the giants on the eve of their 
defeat by Jove, collected together into one grim knot of mortal defiance 
with grim-scathed faces, and brows riven by lightning, retorting hatred and 
scorn on their triumphant foes. And when yoii plunge into its recesses 
and see far up among its cliffy rocks spots of snow unmelted amid the 
blaze of June, the cataracts, which after rain, descend from its sides in 
thousands ; its solitary and gloomy aspect which the sunshine of summer 
is not entirely able to remove, and which assumes a darker hue and 
deepens into dread sublimity, when the thunder cloud stoops his 
wing over the valley, and the lightning runs among the quaking rocks, 
you feel inclined to call Glencoe, in comparison with the other glens of 
Scotland, the "Only One," the secluded, self-involved, solemn, silent 
valley. Green covers the lower parts of the hills, but it seems the green 
of the grave, its sounds are in league with silence, its light is the ally of 
darkness. The feeling, however, finally produced is not so much terror as 
pensivencss, and if the valley be, as it has been called, the valley of the 
Shadow of Death, it is death without his sting the everlasting slumber 
there ; but the ghastliness and the horror fled. Yet at times there passes 
over the mind as you pass this lonely valley, the recollection of what 
occurred 200 years ago, and a whisper seems to pierce your ear, " Here ! 
blood basely shed by treachery stained the spotless snow. These austere 
cliffs, where now soars and screams the eagle, once listened to the shriek 
of murdered men, women, and children ; and on this spot where peaceful 
tourists now walk admiring the unparalleled grandeur, and feeling the spirit 
of the very solitary place bathing them in quiet reverie and dream-like 
bliss was transacted a scene of cruelty and cold-blooded murder which 
all ages shall arise and call accursed !" 

As the clime is, so the heart of man. The Macdonalds were worthy 
of their savage scenery, and more savage weather. True children of the 
mist were they, strong, fearless, living principally on plunder, at feud 
with the adjacent Campbells to which clan Bivadalbane belonged, and 
often had the blood of the race of Dermid smoked on their swords. 


Maclan, their chieftain, was a noble specimen of the Highland character. 
He was a man of distinguished courage and sagacity, of a venerable and 
majestic appearance, was stately in bearing, and moved among his neigh- 
bouring chieftains like a demigod. He had fought at Killiecrankie and 
was a marked man by Government. He had had a meeting Avith 
IJreadalbano on the subject of the proclamation and their mutual 
differences, but they had come to a rupture, and Maclan went away 
with the impression that Breadalbane would do him an injury if he 
could. And yet, Avith a strange inconsistency amounting almost to 
infatuation, he delayed taking the oath, and thereby securing his own 
safety, till the appointed period was nearly expired. In vain is the net 
set in the sight of any bird. But Stair had set the net before the eyes of 
Macdonald. and had openly expressed a hope that he would fall into it, 
and still the old man lingered. 

A few days, however, before the first of January, Colonel Hill is 
sitting in his room at Fort-William Avhen some strangers claim an 
audience. There enter several Highlanders, all clad in the Macdonald 
tartan one towering in stature over the rest, and of a dignified bearing 
all armed, but all in an attitude of submission. They are Maclan and 
the leaders of his tribe, Avho have come at the eleventh hour to swear the 
oath of allegiance to King William. The Colonel, a scholar and a 
gentlemen, is glad and yet grieved to see them ; for, alas ! being a military 
and not a civil officer, he has no poAver to receive their oaths. He tells 
them so, and the old chieftain at first remonstrates, and at last, in his 
agony, weeps perhaps his first tears since infancy, like the waters of the 
Cona, breaking over the channels of their rocky bed ! The tears of a 
brave patriarch are the most affecting of all tears; and Colonel Hill, 
moved to the heart, Avrites out a letter to Sir Colin Campbell, Sheriff of 
Argyleshire, requesting him, although legally too late, to stretch a point 
and receive the submission of the chief ; and with this letter in his Sporran- 
mollach, away lie hied in haste from Fort-William to Inverary. The 
road lay within a mile of his dwelling, but such was his speed that he did 
not even turn aside to salute his family. The roads were horrible ; the 
A'ery elements seemed to have joined in the conspiracy against the doomed 
Macdonalds ; a heavy snoAV-storm had fallen, and in spite of all theeffoits 
he could make, he reached Inverary too late the first of January Avas 
past. Worse still, he found the Sheriff absent, and had to Avait three 
days for his return. He told him his story, and he being a sensible and 
a humane man, after a little hesitation, moved by the old man's tears, and 
the letter of Colonel Hill, consented to administer to him the oath, and 
sent off at the same time a message to the- Privy Council relating the facts 
of tlii' ("i -c, and explaining all the reasons of his conduct. He also Avrote 
to Colonel Hill, requesting him to take care that his soldiers should not 
molest the Macdonald's till the pleasure of the Privy Council in the 
matter was made known. 


(1o be Coidiiit'." 1 ). 




DURING the relation of the first part of the legend that which described 
the atrocious conduct of Allan Dubli and his associates, the members gave 
evident signs of disapprobation. Norman was constantly interrupted with 
such exclamations as " Ubh ubh," " Ok na fraillean," " Na Inridean," 
" Na murtairean," and various others of the same complimentary nature 
(" Oh the servile wretches," " The brutes," " Tlie murderers "), but as the 
story proceeded, and the tide turned in favour of the revenging Mackenzies, 
although their own means of retaliation were almost equally inhuman, the 
tone of the circle gradually changed ; and when Norman finished there was 
a general chorus of satisfaction at the final result, the only expression of 
regret being the death of the young and brave leader of the Mackenzies, 
and the escape of Allan DuWi Mac Ranuil from the clutches of his 

" A capital story and well told " says Ian a Blmidhe (John Buidhe). 
" I heard it before somewhere, but my version of it was not near 
so full as yours, and it differed in various particulars. Accord- 
ing to mine there was a chief of Glengarry in the early part of 
the 17th century whose name was Angus Macdonnel, and who held 
a small property called Strome, in the centre of the lands belong- 
ing to the Mackenzies, in the neighbourhood of Lochalsh. The 
Mackenzies were most anxious to get rid of their neighbour, and finding 
it impossibly to dispossess him of Strome by lawful means, they, during 
the night, seized, and, in cold blood, murdered the Master of Glengarry, 
who was at the time indisposed and unable to escape. 

" A few survivors of the Master's adherents returned to Glen- 
garry and informed the old Chief of the death of his eldest son 
and heir, through the perfidy of the Mackenzies. Angus became 
frantic with rage and regret, and sat silent and moody, exhibiting 
only ' the unconquerable will, the study of revenge, immortal hate ! ' 
On the following day he sent a messenger to Ardachy to the Gille 
Maol Dubli, informing him that he had to perform a sacred duty 
to his Chief and kindred, and that for its effectual and complete 
discharge one possessing the four following qualifications was indis- 
pensably necessary namely, ' Misneachd, seoltachd, treulhantas, agus 
maisealachd' (courage, cunning, bravery, and beauty). The Gille Maol 
Dubh said he knew the very mar, and sent to his chief, Humid 
Macranuil, whom he guaranteed to possess all the necessary qualifications. 
Glengarry was much pleased with Konald's appearance and fierce disposi- 
tion, and having informed him of his son's violent and untimely death 
said, ' I want you to revenge it, and your reward shall depend on the 
extent of your service. Go then, gather your followers, and heedless of 
place or time destroy all who bear the hateful name of Mackenzie.' 



" Macramdt selected t'ie flower of tlic clan, marched during the night 
and arrived at the Chapel of Cilliechriost on the Sabbath morning, wlit-re 
they massacred the unsuspecting inmates as described in your version of 
the legend far more graphically than in mine, but they are on all fours, 
regarding the facts and incidents except that in mine, the Maeken/ies 
overtook and routed the Macdonalds at Lon na fala or the ' 15og of 
Blood,' near Mealfuarvonie, and that it was at Ault a Ghiuthais, across a 
chasm four hundred feet high, with a fearful and foaming cataract beneath, 
that Lundi made his celebrated leap, and not in Anlt-lSt't/h as in yours. 
I aiu, however, disposed to think your version is the most correct <>f the 

We shall now give the following poem composed by Andrew Fraser 
of Inverness, and inscribed to Sir Kenneth S. Mackenzie, Ixuonet of 
Gairloch, during his minority, to whom we are indebted for the manu- 
script. It corroborates Norman's version of the Kaid of Cilliechroist in 
almost every particular, and has considerable merit of its own as an 
original composition : 


Most rcspcitfuUii inscribed to the Heir of Gairlorh, c(r., cCc. 

Gathered are Glengarrie's pride 

On Lochlundie's mossy side, 

The Crantara they obey, 

They are met they know not why, 

But they bind the broadsword on ; 

And the studded buckler shone 

As the evening's sunny rays 

Burnt in summer's orient blaze 

Through the silent sombre wood 

That lines the margin of the flood. 

Mark, O mark that eagle crest, 

Towering lordly o'er the rest, 

Like the full and monarch pine 

Which waves its head in dark Glenlyne, 

When the stormy cloud is cast 

Above that region of the blast. 

Mark that forehead's fitful glow, 

Mark that grey and sbajfgy brow, 

Mark, O mark that dreadful eye 

Which glistens but on misery. 

Now rolling in revengeful mood 

O'er the thoughts of coming blood, 

Then casting to the glorious sky 

A glance of hopeless agony. 

Warrior of the savage breast, 

Fell Macranuil 'twas thy crest, 

"Iwas the banner of thy race 

Which the wondering eye might trace, 

As it wound by wood and brake, 

.Rolling stream and stilly lake, 

As it fluttered for a while 

On the brow of dark Torgoil, 

Or descended the rough side 

Of the Moristone's wild tide. 

Silent is Macranuil's tread 

And his followers' stealthy speed, 

As they cross the lovely glen 
Where Urquhart's waters, flow between 
Hillocks where the zephyrs dwell, 
In the blue and fragrant bell : 
Groves where echo answers ever 
The low murmurs of the river ; 
And the mountain top is seen 
Snow-speck'd in the distant scene. 

Mhicranuil ! why that softened pace ? 
Thou seek'st not now the wary chase ? 
Why do'st thou and thy warriors keen 
So fold your plaids that nought is seen 
Of arms or armour, even the lance 
Whereon your pendant used to glance 
Its blazoned ''Lamb, dhearg" 'mid the rays 
Of solar light, or battle blaze, 
Has disappeared, and each wilt! look 
Scowls at the music of the brook, 
As if sweet nature seemed to scan 
The inmost heart of guilty man ? 
Oh ! can you in a scene so loved 
By all that's holy stand unmoved ? 
Can vengeance in that heart be found 
Which vibrates on this blessed ground ? 
Can that lone deep cathedral bell 
Cast all around its sacred spell ? 

And yet on ruthless niurder bent, 
Its voice to thee in vain be sent ? 
Mhicranuil? raise thy haggard eye, 
And say beneath the glowing sky 
Is there a spot where man may rest 
More beautiful, more truly blest 
Than where the Beauly pours its stream 
Through nature's all-romantic Dream,* 
Down to that ridge which bounds the south 
Of Nephia's salmon-spangled mouth ? 

* The Dream is a scene on the River Beauly, whose picturesque properties realizes 

this term in its utmost limits. 



The voice of praise was heard to peal 
From Cillechriost's low holy aisle, 
And on the Sabbath's stilly air 
Arose the hopeful soul of pray'r : 
"When on the pastor's thoughtful face 
Played something like a radiant grace ; 
Still was each thought to heaven sent, 
Still w*s each knee in prayer bent ; 
Still did each heart in wonder rise 
To something far beyond the skies, 
When burst, as an electric cloud 
Had wrapt them in a flaming shroud, 
The roof above, the sides around, 
The altar nay the very ground 
Seemed burning, mingled with the air 
In one wild universal flare ! 

Hark, heaven ! through the lurid air 
Sprung the wild scream of mad despair, 
Those that so late did breath but love, 
Whose kindred hearts were interwove, 
Now tore away strong nature's ties 
Amidst her stroager agonies ; 
Affection, frantic, burst the band 
That linked them often hand to hand, 
And rushed along the maddening tide 
Which rolled in flames from, side to side. 
Eager the crowded porch to gain 
In hopes of safety. Ah ! how vain ? 
The demon ministers of death. 
From stern Glengarrie's land of heath 
Stood biistled round the burning fane 
Like hells last hopeless, hideous chain, 
That even the infant might not die 
Beneath a brighter, cooler sky, 
Whilst in their savageness of joy 
The war-pipe screams their victory. 


Ho ! Clanchonich ? mark the blaze 
Reddening all your kindred skies, 
Hear ye not your children's cries 
Welcoming Macranuil ? 
Hear ye not the eagle scream 
O'er the curling, crackling flame 
Which flies to heaven with the mame 
Of glorious Clandonuil ? 

Ho ! horo? the war-note swell, 
Burst aloud Clanchonich's wail ! 
Hark ! it is their wild farewell 
To Allan-du-Macranuil ! 
Never yet did victor smile 
On a nobler funeral pile, 
Than rushes from this holy aisle 
In memory of Clandonuil ! 

Never shall pale sorrow'sjtear 
Blanch the cheek that slumbers here, 
They have pressed a warmer bier 
For Allan-du-Macranuil ! 
Never shall a footstep roam 
From their dreary voiceless home 
They have slept in one red tomb 
For grateful Clandonuil ! 

The house of prayer in embers lay, 

The crowded meeting wore away ; 

The quieted herdboy saw them go 

With downcast look, serene and slow ; 

But never by the wonted path 

That wound so smoethly through the heath 

And led to many a cottage door 

By meadow-stream, and flow'ry moor, 

Came back a human voice to say 

How that meeting sped away. 

The Conon lends the ready ford, 
The Conon glitters back the sword, 
The Conon casts the echo wide, 
" Arise Clanchonich ! to the raid ; 
Pursue the monsters to their lair, 
Pursue them hell, and earth, and air ; 
Pursue them till the page of time 
Forgets their name, forgets their crime." 

The sun had sunk in the fay sea, 

But the moon rose bright and merrily, 

And by the sparkling midnight beam 

That fell upon the gladdened stream ; 

The wild deer might be seen to look 

On his dark shadow in the brook, 

Whilst the more timorous hind lay by 

Enamoured of the lovely sky. 

Bright heaven ! 'twas a glorious scene, 

The sparry rock, the vale between, 

The light arch'd cataract afar 

Swift springing like a falling star 

From point to point till lost to view, 

It fades in deep ethereal blue. 

So lone the hour, so fair the night, 

The scene, the green and woody height, 

Which rises o'er Glenconvent's vale 

Like beauty in a fairy tale. [stray, 

Here where the heavenward soul might 

The red remorseless spoiler lay, 

Where holy praise was wont to rise 

Like incense to the opening skies : 

Tn broken and unhallowed dreams 

He lauerhs amid the roar of flames. 

Ha ! see he starts, afar is heard 

The war-cry wild of " Tullach Ard." 

Away Mhicranuil ! with thy band, 

Away, Clanchonich is at hand, 

Scale rock and ravine, hill, anddnle, [vale, 

Plunge through the depths of Urquhart's 

And spread thy followers one by one, 

'Tis meet that thou should'st be alone. 

It boots not for the jerkin red, 
Fit emblem of the man of blood, 
Is singled still, and still pursued 
Through open moor and tangled wood. 
High bounding as the hunted stag 
He scales the wild aiud broken crag, 
And with one desperate look behind 
Again his steps are on the wind. 
Why does he pause ? means he to yield ? 
He casts aside his ponderous shield, 
His plaid is flung upon the heath, 
More firm he grasps the blade of death, 
And springing wildly through the air 
The dark gulf of Altsigh is clear ! 


Unhesitating, bold, and young, 
Across the gulf Mackenzie sprung ; 
But ah ! too short one fatal step, 
He clears, but barely clears the leap, 
When slipping on the further side 
He hung suspended o'er the tide ; 
A tender twig sustained his weight, 

Above the wild and horrid height. 
One fearful moment whilst he strove 
To grasp the stronger boughs above. 
But all too late, Macranufl turns 
"With fiendish joy his bosom burns, 
" Go, I have given you much," he said, 
" The twig is cut the debt is paid." 


" Notwithstanding the hideousness of this double crime of sacrilege and murder, which 
certainly in magniUide of atrocity was rarely, if ever, equalled in this quarter ; it is 
strange that many will be found at no great distance from the scene of horror referred 
to in the poem who are not only ignorant of the cause of the fearful catastrophe, but 
even of the perpetrators of it. It is, therefore, the intention of the author to accompany 
the printed copy* with a copious note. 
"INVERNESS, 4th Dec. 1839." 

"All," says Domlmull a Bliuidhe, another of the bard's sons, " these 
men of Glengarry were a fine race. For real courage and bravery few in 
the Highlands could excel them. I remember once hearing a story of 
young ' Glen,' in which, perhaps, is exhibited the finest example of daring 
ever recorded in the annals of our country. Once upon a time Old Glen- 
garry wa.s very unpopular with all the northern chiefs in consequence of 
his many raids and spoliations among the surrounding tribes; but although 
he was now advanced in years and unable to lead hi.s clan in person 
none of the neighbouring chiefs could muster courage to beard him in his 
den single-handed. There was never much love lost between him and 
the chief of the Mackenzies, and about this time some special offence 
was given to the latter by the Macdonnels, which the chief of JBilean- 
doiiiinit .swore would have to be revenged; and the insult must be wiped 
out at whatever cost. His clan was at the time very much subdivided, 
and he felt himself quite unable to cope with Glengarry in arms. 
Mackenzie, however, far excelled his enemy in ready invention, and 
possessed a degree of subtlety Avhich usually more than made up for his 
enemy's superior physical power. 

" ' Kintail ' managed to impress his neighbouring chiefs with the belief 
that Glengarry purposed, and was making arrangements to take them all 
by surprise and annhilate them by one fell swoop, and that in these circum- 
stances it wa.s imperative for their mutual safety to make arrangements 
forthwith by which the danger would be obviated and the hateful author 
of such a diabolical scheme extinguished root and branch. By this means 
he managed to produce the most bitter prejudice against Glengarry and 
his clan; but all of them being convinced of the folly and futil 
meeting the ' Black .Raven,' as he was called, man to man and clan to 
clan, Mackenzie invited them to meet him at a great council in Eilean- 
donnan Castle the following week to discuss the best means of protecting 
thi'ir mutual interests, and to enter into a solemn league, and swear on 
the ' raven's cross ' to exterminate the hated Glengarry and his race, and 
to raze, burn, and plunder everything belonging to them. 

" Old Glengarry, whom the ravages of war had already reduced to one 
si'ii out of .several, and he, only a youth of immature years, heard of 
tin- confederacy formed against him with great and serious concern. He 

* This is the only printed copy that ever saw the light, and if the "copious note" 
was ever written vr were unable to procure it. A. O. 


well knew the impossibility of holding out against the combined influence 
and power of the Western Chiefs. His whole affections were concen- 
trated on his only surviving son, and, on realizing the common danger, 
he bedewed him with tears, and strongly urged upon him the dire neces- 
sity of fleeing from the land of his fathers to some foreign land until the 
danger had passed away. He, at the same time, called his clan together, 
absolved them from their allegiance, and implored them also to save 
themselves by flight ; and to their honour be it said, one and all spurned 
the idea of leaving their chief, in his old age, alone to his fate, exclaiming 
' that death itself was preferable to shame and dishonour.' To the sur- 
prise of all, however, the son, dressed in his best garb, and armed to the 
teeth, after taking a formal and affectionate farewell of his father, took to 
the hills amidst the contemptuous sneers of his brave retainers. But he 
was no sooner out of sight than he directed his course to Lochduich, deter- 
mined to attend the great council at Eilean-donnan Castle, at which his 
father's fate was to be sealed. He arrived in the district on the appointed 
day and carefully habilitating himself in a fine Mackenzie tartan plaid 
with which he had provided himself, he made for the stronghold and 
passed the outer gate with the usual salutation ' Who is welcome here 1 ' 
and passed by unheeded, the guard replying in the most unsuspicious 
manner ' Any, any but a Macdonnell.' On being admitted to the great 
hall he carefully scanned the brilliant assembly. The Mackenzie plaid put 
the company completely off their guard ; for in those days no one would 
ever dream of wearing the tartan of any but that of his own leader. The 
chiefs had already, as they entered the great hall, drawn their dirks and 
stuck them in the tables before them as an earnest of their unswerving 
resolution to rid the world of their hated enemy. The brave and 
intrepid stranger coolly walked up to the head of the table where the 
Chief of Kiutail presided over -the great council, threw off his disguise, 
seized Mackenzie by the throat, drew out his glittering dagger, held it 
against his enemy's heart, and exclaimed with a voice and a determination 
which struck terror into every breast ' Mackenzie, if you or any of your 
assembled guests make the slighest movement, as I live, by the great 
Creator of the universe I will instantly pierce you to the heart.' 
Mackenzie well knew by the appearance of the youth, and the commanding 
tone of his voice, that the threat would be instantly executed if any move- 
ment was made, and tremulously exclaimed' My friends, for the love of God 
stir not lest I peri>h at the hands of my inveterate foe at my own table.' 
The appeal was hardly necessary, for all were terror-stricken and confused, 
sitting with open mouths, gazing vacantly, at each other. ' Now,' said 
the young hero, ' lift up your hands to heaven and swear by the Lomj 
am JJradan, ayus an Lamli Dlteary (the ship, the salmon, and the 
bloody hand) that you will never again molest my father or any of his 
clan.' 'I do now swear as you request' answered the confused chief. 
' Swear now,' continued the dauntless youth, ' you, and all ye round this 
table, that I will depart from here and be permitted to go home unmolested 
by you or any of your retainers.' All witli uplifted hands repeated the 
oath. Young Glengarry released his hold on Mackenzie's throat, sheathed his 
dirk and prepared to take his departure, but was, extraordinary to relate, 
prevailed upon to remain at the feast and spend the night with the SAvorn 


enemies of his race and kindred, and the following morning they parted 
the best of friends. And thus, by the daring of a stripling, was Glen- 
garry saved the fearful doom that awaited him. The youth ultimately 
became famous as one of the most courageous warriors of his race. He 
fought many a single combat with, powerful combatants, and invariably 
came oil' victorious. He invaded and laid waste Glenmoriston, Urquhart, 
and Caithness. His life had been one scene of varied havoc, victory, 
ruin, and bloodshed. He entered into a fierce encounter with one of the 
Munros <>!' Fowlis, but ultimately met the same fate at the hands of the 
' grim tyrant' as the greatest coward in the land, and his body lies buried 
in the churchyard of Tuitearn-tarbhach." 

(To le Continued.) 

TUB GAELIC SOCIETY OF INVERNESS. The fallowing are the newly elected 
office-bearers for 1870 : Chief Professor Blackie ; Chieftains Mr Charles 
Mackay, builder ; Mr Alexander Fraser, accountant ; and Bailie Noble, 
Inverness ; Honorary Secretary Mr Wm. Mackay, solicitor ; Secretary 
Mr William Mackenzie, Free Press Office, Inverness ; Treasurer Mr Evan 
Mackenzie, solicitor, Inverness ; Council Mr Alexander Mackenzie, of the 
f !'//;.. Magazine] Councillor Huntly Fraser; Mr James H. Mackenzie, 
bookseller ; Mr James Fraser, C.E. ; and Mr Lachlan Macbean; Librarian 
Mr. Lachlan Macbean ; Bard Mrs Mary Mackellar ; and Piper Pipe- 
Major Maclennan, Inverness. The following members have been elected 
since the beginning of the year : Mr A. B. Munro, 57 Camphill, Birming- 
ham ; Councillor D. Macpherson, Inverness; Mr\V. A. Mackay, bird-stuffer, 
do. ; Mr Jonathan Nicolsou, Birmingham ; Major William Grant, factor for 
the Earl of Seafield, honorary ; Mr Donald Macleod, painter, Church Street, 
Inverness ; Mr Hugh Shaw, tinsmith, Castle Street, Inverness ; Rev. 
Lachlan Maclachlan, Gaelic Church, Inverness; Mr Archibald Macmillan, 
Kaituna, Havelock, Maryborough, New Zealand; Mr William Douglas, 
Aberdeen Town and County Bank, Inverness ; Mr Donald Macdonald, 
farmer, Culcraggie, Alness ; Mr Andrew Mackenzie, ironmonger, Alness ; 
Mr Hugh Mackenzie, postmaster, Alness; Mr William Mackenzie, factor, 
Ardross ; Mr W. Mackenzie, solicitor, Dingvvall ; Captain Alex. Matheson, 
Domic, Lochalsh ; Mr Christopher Murdoch, gamekeeper, Kyleakin, Skyc ; 
Mr Norman M'llaild, Caledonian Canal, Laggan, Fort- Augustus ; Mr James 
Hunter, Bobbin Works, Glengarry ; Mr Fergusson, schoolmaster, Guisa- 
chan ; Mr Maclean, schoolmaster, Abriachan ; Mr D. Dott, Caledonian 
Bank, Inverness ; and Dr Farquhar Matheson, Soho Square, London. Mr 
Alex. Mackenzie, of the O7//V .l/./ './,,,, on the I7th February, resigned his 
connection with the Society's Publishing Committee, as convener of which 
he edited, last year, vols. III. and J V. of the Society's " Transactions." 

Du TKINARY OF THE WELSH LANGUAGE. We are glad to learn that a 
Dictionary of the Welsh language is in preparation, compiled from original 
sources by D. Silvan Evans, B.D., Professor of Welsh at, 1,'niversity College, 
Aberystwyth, Wales, and late Editor of the " Arclueologia Cambrensis." 
Professor Evans is a Celtic scholar of high repute, and his work will, we are 
assured, prove a great acquisition to the student of Philological Science. 



THE sunny plains of Carolina was the first emigration field taken 
advantage of by the Scottish Highlander. And there is no denying that 
his temporal interests required a change for the Letter. Oppressed with 
poverty in his own wild glens, in the endeavour to eke out an existence 
from the returns of a soil the reverse of fertile, or from the produce of a 
small flock of trifling value, or from the precarious productions of stormy 
lochs, the honest Gael "becomes gradually convinced that his condition 
might be much improved in the genial climes recently opened up. With 
this in view he gives a willing ear to the kindly suggestions of those who 
sought to promote his welfare ; and he resolves at length, in acting upon 
these suggestions, to rupture the ties that bound him to his home, and 
to face a voyage which was then regarded as the highest test of courage, 
but which can now be accomplished in as little time, and with as little 
concern as a voyage in those days from Mull or Skye to the banks of the 

It has often been said that the Highlander is wanting in a spirit of 
adventure, and that in consequence there is still a great amount of 
poverty and wretchedness at home, which might easily be remedied by a 
little more pluck in taking advantage of the rich soil of colonial fields, i 
This phenomenon, which is only too true, has its explanation in a strange j 
mystic spell of attachment to the native heath with all its associations. 
This is proverbially true of the Highlander in distinction from all other I 
nationalities, and it cannot be ignored by those who wish to see him! 
emigrate to countries where he can soon raise himself, by a little industry, 
to a position of affluence and independence which he never dreamed of 
in his native country. 

Even the physical aspect of his native scenery has a charm for the 
Gael which can never be lost. His very heath in autumnal bloom spread 
out like a gorgeous carpet, towering summits, wild cascades, birch and 
rowans, verdant hill sides, browsing flocks, bounding deer, soaring eagles, 
and the vast expanse of land and water all form an enchanting panorama 
which indelibly instamps itself on the mountaineer's mental vision. Add 
to this the social aspect of his nature, and you have a still stronger chain 
of attachment to his barren home. He feels himself as an individual 
member of a large family or confederacy, with common interests, common, 
language and traditions. The huge mountain barriers which prevent the 
inhabitants of a glen from general communication with others, and so 
completely isolate them, tends to generate this feeling of clannishnesi 
They work in a great measure together, tending their flocks, cultivating 
their crofts, capturing their fish. And especially is their social nature 
developed in their long winter evening gatherings from house to house,' 
in rehearsing their traditionary folk-lore, and cultivating the poetic muse 
in every variety of verse and style of chorus. Nor does the holy day of 
rest interrupt their gregarious proclivities. They meet at the same kirk, 


37 survey with becoming emotion the last resting place of those who 
ere content to have their remains repose in their native valley, the y 
ar proclamations of plighted affection between parties who have no 
jher ambition than to share each other's future lot on the scantiest fart', 
ey join "their artless notes" together in grateful thanksgiving to 
e Sovereign of all lands for such temporal gifts as others might think 
small mercies," and more especially do they hear, in their own expres- 
v vernacular, impressive lessons upon time and its manifold labours, its 
nstant changes and solemn issues. 


the disturbers of their marshy tranquillity. Fortunately for the homeless 
pioneers the climate was genial and favourable, and all that could be 
expected from its southern latitude of 35 degrees. The only protection, 
therefore, absolutely necessary for health and comfort was some temporary 
shelter from the heavy autumnal dews of that region ; and this they could 
speedily extemporise or discover already at hand in the arching canopy of 
stately hickories, mulberries, and walnut trees, where in patriarchal 
fashion, " each one under his own vine and fig tree " they could while 
away days and weeks without any serious discomfort or detriment to 
health. But they soon set about the work of improvement in their new 
domains. They construct more permanent abodes in the shape of log 
cottages, neat, clean, and tidy, and two for a family, according to subse- 
quent use and Avont in that warm country. They begin to fell the 
primeval forest, to grub, drain, and clear the rich alluvial swamps 
bordering on that stream, to reduce to ashes in a thousand conflagrations 
the most valuable timber of every variety and sort, and to supersede this 
primeval growth by the more precious production of rice, cotton, maize, 
melons, pumpkins, peaches, grapes, and other endless varieties for comfort 
and luxury. All this is accomplished, be it known, by ways and moans 
of which, iu the case of the new settler, stern necessity is the inventing 
mother. And may we not here suggest the reflection ho\v much the 
residuary occupants of our glens are interested in these bush clearances. 
In receiving in regular supplies^ from that very district, the famous " Caro- 
lina Bice," chief of its class, not to speak of other products, is there not 
.awakened a feeling of interest and grateful thanks to the memory of our 
hardy kinsman in the days of yore. 

But progression and improvement is the rule in every colony and 
growing community. By the increase of population and settlement of a 
country the laws of society imperatively demand a different mode of life. 
The abundant supply of the necessities of life soon creates a desire for its 
comforts, and these in turn for its conveniences and luxuries. This pro- 
gressive change is distinctly marked in the case before us. Very soon 
the nucleus of a town is seen in the centre of the settlement, where the 
products of industry could be bartered and sold, and where the usual 
system of commerce could afford facilities for supplying the growing 
demands of a prosperous community. The name of .Campbelton is given 
to this hamlet, thus identifying the national origin of its patriotic 
founders, and when by subsequent emigrations it grew to a large and 
commercial importance, rivalling and soon surpassing its namesake in the 
Fatherland, and becoming the seat of justice and general centre of traffic 
for that whole Highland district, the names of its commercial firms, of its 
civic officials, judges, and barristers, unmistakeably declared that the name 
of the town was well chosen. And although the course of events after- 
wards changed its original designation to that of La Fayette or Fayette- 
ville, which it still retains, yet it will always be remembered with a 
lively interest by Scottish Highlanders as the abode of their brave 
countrywoman, the renowned heroine Flora Macdonald, whose memory is 
still cherished in the country of her sojourn, and whose name is preserved 
from oblivion by the gay and gallant little steamer " Flora Macdonald," 
which plies up and down the unruffled waters of the Cape Fear. 


As already remarked, this was the beginning of the tide of emigration 
to Carolina, and at a period now buried in the annals of well nigh a 
century and a half. The ice being thus broken, and the pioneers of the 
flock giving good accounts of the new pasture, others soon eagerly began 
to follow their footsteps in large numbers. There was, in fact, a Caro- 
lina mania at that time, and which did not fairly subside until within the 
last half century. It is here necessary to note the great event which gave 
such a special impetus to the movement. That was the disastrous results 
which followed the memorable rebellion of '45. The collapsing of the ro- 
mantic scheme which enlisted so many brave mountaineers, and unsheathed 
so many claymores, proved ruinous to the whole race of Scottish Celts. 
There was no discrimination made in the exerjise of punishment between 
these " who were out "for Charlie, and those who followed Muccallnn 
Mm- and others in defence of the reigning dynasty. All were alike 
nationally persecuted, so that the Avhole system of clanship was completely 
and for ever broken up. The golden chain of patriarchal respect and 
afl'edion to the chief, cemented by law or immemorial usage, was now 
severed. Xo military service or vassalage could any more be exacted by 
a feudal superior, and no support or protection could henceforth be 
expeeted by the vassal. All was now at an end; and the ghostly idea of 
chieftainship, which still hovers in our mists, is only entertained as a 
harmless sentiment or a pleasant burlesque. The Highlander was totally 
disarmed. Those weapons, as naturally associated with the mountaineer's 
life as the implements of husbandry to the fanner, were wrested from 
him, and heavy fines and transportation enforced in case of disobedience. 
Kay more, his very garb was proscribed. A romantic costume, suggestive 
of the- well-known dirk and other weapons of military warfare, and of 
pr"\\vss, bravery, and skill, in the use of them, falls under the ban of the 
What must have been the Gael's feelings, from this state of things, 
MI easily imagine. Dispirited, insulted, outlawed, without chief or 
tor, with such a complete revolution in his social life, he has no 
alternative but to quit his native haunts and try to find peace and rest in 
he unbroken forests of Carolina. Accordingly the llanie of enthusiasm 
'or foreign adventure passes like Avild lire through the Highland glens 
and islands at the period to which we refer. It pervades all classes, from 
he poorest crofter to the well-to-do farmer, and in some eases men of 
>mpcteiice, who were, according to the appropriate song <>f the day, 
'dol a dh'iarruidh an fhortain do North C'troUiin," (i.e., .^'i/tfi/f/tr/' 
fortunuiii ux^uc Carolinam). 

Within a short time great crowds had left the country. Large ocean 
rafts, from several of the Western Lochs, laden with hundreds of 
igers, sailed direct for the far west, and this continuous tide kept 
rolling westwards from year to year, until at the era of the Colonial 
Revolution, the Highland settlers in Carolina could be numbered by many 
thousands. And there you find their worthy sons at the present day, 
ing a large area of the state, no less than five counties in a body, 
.ill preserving the genuine names and sterling qualities of their sires; and 
with their known enterprise and patient industry, exerting more than 
their numerical share of political influence in that country. They consti- 
tute doubtless the largest (laelic community out of Scotland, tenaciously 


holding the religion of their fathers, and preserving, to some extent, their 
language and customs. And be it known to our "Brither Scots" of 
Saxon origin, that these are known by their neighbours as pre-eminently 
" the Scotch," and their tongue " the Scotch language," so that a native 
of Auld Eeeky or Dumfries, without a knowledge of the Celtic tongue, 
could hardly pass muster among them for being a genuine son of Scotia. 

But the clans were not long settled in the land of their adoption 
before having their national character put to the test. The occasion was 
furnished by the unfortunate revolt of the North American Colonists, 
arising from causes useless to dilate upon at this time of day, but which 
might have been obviated at the time by wise imperial policy, and thus 
retained under the imperial aegis an enormous territory which has since 
then become an independent and powerful rival. Of course the Carolina 
Highlander was not a disinterested spectator of the rising struggle. Nor 
was it with him a question for a moment upon which side his claymore 
should be unsheathed. Naturally Conservative, and ever loyal to con- 
stituted authorities, he at once enlisted under the banner of King George 
the Third, and resolved with devoted loyalty and wonted military 
prowess to exert his utmost endeavours to perpetuate the British sway 
and quell the great rebellion. At the call of his leaders, and to the 
martial strains of his national pipes, he readily obeys ; and with such 
alacrity as if summoned by the fiery cross of old, he musters to the central 
place of rendezvous, band after band, day after day, until a whole regiment 
of active volunteers are enrolled and ready for action. This was called 
the " Highland Eegiment of Carolina," a body of men, let us remark, less 
known in history than it deserves ; for in resolute courage, strength of 
nerve and muscle, intrepid bravery and unshaken fidelity, few instances 
could be found of superior excellence within the annals of the empire. 
The officers of the regiment were taken from influential leaders among 
the emigrants, and it need hardly be said, were of the same sterling 
metal. When we mention the name of Capt. Macdonald of Kingsborough, 
the husband of the famous Flora, and another officer of the same clan, as 
also the names of Macleod and M 'Arthur, all of whom were the ruling 
chiefs of the " Royalists," it will at once appear how homogeneous was 
the body, and how naturally they were all animated by a kindred spirit 
with the view of achieving the same great end. Thus marshalled under 
the royal standard, they rush into the contest, with the sole determina- 
tion, be the issue what it might, of discharging their conscientious duty 
to their king and country, and resolved with true Highland courage to 
conquer or to die. But, alas, this latter was, in substance, the inevitable 
alternative to which they had to succumb. The odds against them was 
overpowering. For even supposing them to have had the advantages of 
regular military discipline, they were not able to withstand the immense 
numbers by which they were assailed. Almost the whole colonies were 
in a state of revolt, and the imperial forces, from well-known causes, were 
few and far between. There was, therefore, no help for the royal cause. 
After long and fatiguing marches by night and day, through creeks and 
swamps, in arid sand and scorching sun, and after several desperate 
encounters with, the numerous foe, meeting them at various points, they 
had finally to disperse, and thus for ever surrender a cause which it was 


hopeless to have undertaken. Their leaders had to flee for life and find 
their way through swamp and forest to the far distant sea-board, as their 
only hope of safety. This they made out, and then found the means of 
transit, though by a circuitous voyage, across the ocean to their native 
land. The perils and hardships endured by these in their several routes 
could not be narrated in the space at our disposal. But we cannot take 
leave without briefly relating the daring exploit of one of their leaders 
after being captured and imprisoned. This, however, must be reserved 
for a subsequent nunier. 






Two years before Alan's return from America, the Highland Society of 
London was instituted for " Promoting objects of advantage to the High- 
lands generally ; and good fellowship with social union, among such of 
its natives as inhabited the more southern part of the island." To the 
foregoing summary were also added several specific objects, such as the 
restoration of the Highland dress ; the preservation of the music ; and 
cultivation of the Celtic language, &c., &c. An institution for the 
support of these objects would have particular attraction for Alan ; and 
now that he was not otherwise specially employed, he could give some 
attention to their promotion. The members of the society were composed 
of almost all the men of rank and position belonging to, or connected 
with, Scotland. In the list Alan appears to have been elected at a meet- 
ing on 21st January 1782, and with the names of other gentlemen on the 
same occasion that of John Home (Author of Douglas) is included. 

The Act of Parliament which enacted the suppression of the Highland 
dress was in force in Scotland during Alan's childhood, and up to the 
time of his departure from it, after the encounter with MorsJidrlich, so 
that he had never worn the garb of his ancestors until he had joined his 
regiment in America. Its \ise was still (1782) prohibited in the old 
country. Alan and many of his friends became the most active members 
for promoting the objects of the society. Having found that one of these 
was the restoration of the Highland dress, they formed a committee to 
co-operate with a member of the Legislature to have that obnoxious Act 
obliterated from the Statute Book. Of that committee the following were 
the Executive, and being the authors of the extirpation of this national 
stigma, they are entitled to be remembered, by Highlanders especially, 
with admiration and everlasting gratitude. They were lion. Genetal 
Fraser of Lo vat (President) ; Lord Chief Baron Macdonald ; Lord Adam 
Gordon; Earl of Seaforth ; Colonel Macpherson of Cluny ; Captain Alan 
Cameron (Erracht) ; and John Mackenzie (Temple), Honorary Secretary. 


Fortunately for the committee, the Marquis of Graham, one of the mem- 
bers of the society, had a seat in the House of Commons, and to this 
nobleman they entrusted a Bill for the repeal of the Act passed in 1747, 
commonly known as the Unclothing Act. The noble Marquis took 
charge of the bill, which he introduced to the House in May 1782, with 
so much earnestness that it passed through the various stages in both 
Houses of Parliament with unusual rapidity. Indeed, within a few 
months after this date, the legal restriction placed on the dress of a people 
for the past thirty-five years, was obliterated for ever. " The thanks of 
the Society were given to his Lordship for his exertions in procuring a 
law so acceptable to all Highlanders."* Addresses in prose and poetry 
were presented to the Marquis from all the Highland parishes, while at 
the same time the contemporary Gaelic bards were profuse with patriotic 
songs of praise, notably among them, that by Duncan M'Intyre 
(Donnacliadh Ban) commencing 

" Fhuair mi naidheachd as ur 
Tha taitinn ri run tuo chridh 
Gu faigheamaid fas ;n na dutch 
A chleachd sinn an tiis ur tim, 
O'n tha siun le glaineachstn lun, 
A bruidhinn air nuiran binn, 
So i deoch slainte Mhontrois 
A sheasamh a choir so dhuinn. 

The next action of national importance which engaged the attention of 
the Society was the publication of the Poems of Ossian in the original 
Gaelic. In the prosecution of this project Alan Cameron was also zealous, 
but before it was completed he was called away to duties of a sterner 
nature. About the same time the controversy respecting the authenticity 
of the poems was continuing to run its rancour unabated. During the 
tew days of Alan's sojourn as a fugitive in Mr Bond's house, they had 
conversed on the merits of Ossian's poems, the latter gentleman informed 
Alan that he had such evidence in favour of their ancient existence that he 
was convinced of their being the genuine remains of poetry of a very remote 
period, adding that he owed his intimacy with Ossian to the acquaintance 
of the Eev. Colin M'Farquhar (a native of one of the Hebrides), at this 
time minister in Newhaven of Pennsylvannia. It occurred to Alan that 
it would be desirable to get the testimony of the reverend gentleman 
respecting the poems, therefore he decided to address himself to his kind 
friend in Philadelphia on the subject. In due time Mr Bond replied with 
a communication from Mr M'Farquhar, dated, " Newhaven, Penn., 
January 1806," stating as follows : "It is perfectly within my recollec- 
tion when I was living in the Highlands of Scotland, that Mr James 
Macphersoii was there collecting as many as he could find of the Poems 
of Ossian. Among those applied to was a co-presbyter of mine, who 
knew that a man of distinguished celebrity had resided in my congrega- 
tion, and he requested the favour of me to have an interview with him 
and take clown in writing some of these poems 'from his lips for Mr 
Macpherson, which I did, but cannot recollect at this distance of time 
the names of the poems, though I well remember they were both lengthy 
and irksome to write, on account of the many mute letters contained in 

* Minutes of the Highland Society of London, 1782, 


almost every word. Indeed, it Avould be difficult to find one among ten 
thousand of the Highlanders of the present day who could or would 
submit to the task of committing one of them to writing or memory, 
though in former ages they made the repetition of the poems a considerable 
part of their enjoyment at festive and convivial entertainments. Well do 
I remember the time when I myself lent a willing ear to the stories of 
Eingal, Oscar, Ossian, and other heroes of the Highland bard. I cannot, 
therefore, forbear calling that man an ignorant sceptic, and totally 
unacquainted with the customs of the history of the Highlanders, and the, 
usages prevailing amongst them ; who can once doubt in his mind their 
being the composition of Ossian 1 And as to being the production of Mac- 
pherson or any of his companions, I have no more doubt than I have of 
the compositions of Horace or Yirgil to be the works of these cele- 
brated authors." 

The Secretary laid Mr Bond's letter and its inclosure with the foregoing 
statement of the Eeverend Mr M'Farquhar before the Highland Society, 
which they considered so important as to have adopted it in Sir John 
Sinclair's "Additional Proofs of the Authenticity of the Poems of Ossian." 
While on this subject, another reference must be made to Mr Bond. The 
Highland Society in acknowledging the receipt of his communications, 
alluded to the service he had rendered to their fellow-countryman 
(Erracht) when in distress. The Marquis of Huntly, who was President, 
moved that the Society's Gold Medal be conferred on Mr Bond ; also that 
he be elected an Honorary member of the Society.* The propositions were 
unanimously approved, and thus his friendship to the benighted prisoner 
was not forgotten by the members of this noble and patriotic Society. 


ALAX, although now (1792) surrounded by a young family, and in cir- 
cumstances independent of the emoluments of his profession, was not, 
however, disposed to live a life of idleness. Nor had lie relinquished 
the intention to enter again on active service. This was most difficult of 
accomplishment, on account principally, of the reduction of the army on 
the termination of the American War ; and that no additions were made 
to it for the last five or six years. 

Britain was for the moment at peace with all nations ; but the state 
of affairs in India was causing so much concern that the home government 
decided on increasing the military force in each of its Presidencies ; and 
to enable that intention to be effected, an augmentation of the army of 
five battalions was ordered, commencing with the 74th Regiment. Two of 
these were to be raised in Scotland and three in England. Into one of the 
new corps, Alan hoped to be transferred from the "provincial list." In this, 
however, he was disappointed owing to other applicants being his seniors 
in the service ; notwithstanding that the Marquis of Cornwall]'.", whose 
friendship he had gained in America, had previously recommended him 
to the Commander-in-Chief. 

After remaining a few years longer at home, an event impended, 
which was to shake Europe to its foundation. This was the French 
Revolution. To trace the causes, or detail the scenes, which followed tins 

* Minute Highland Society of London 1800. 


i evolution, is beyond the limits of our subject, except simply to refer to 
its excesses in burning, plundering, and confiscating property of every 
description, to which was finally added the execution of the King and 
Queen on the scaffold. These iniquitous acts were execrated by reason- 
able people of all countries, but were shortly followed by the Republi- 
can Assembly offering aid to other nations to rid themselves of their 
monarchical rulers. The incitement to extend rebellion to their neigh- 
bours drew upon them the animosity of all governments, of whom the 
continentals were the first to take offence. 

To demonstrate their earnestness, the French took immediate action 
by advancing three armies towards their northern frontiers; the total 
strength being not under half a million soldiers, under the command of 
their ablest generals Jouidan, Moreau, and Pichequr. Simultaneously 
with this offensive demonstration, war was declared against Holland, Spain, 
and Britain. The manufactures of the latter country were strictly pro- 
hibited in France, and it was, moreover, ordered that all British subjects in 
whatever part of the Republic should be arrested, and their properties seized. 

The whole powers of the Continent were now arrayed against the French, 
yet the vigour of their measures enabled them to disconcert the dilatory 
schemes of their allied opponents. This same year (1793) the insurrection 
at Toulon also broke out, and it was on this occasion that first appeared the 
extraordinary man, who was to wield for a considerable period the 
.destinies of Europe. Napoleon Bonaparte, then Chef de bataillon, was 
dispatched by the Convention as second in command of the artillery, 
where he displayed a genius in the art of war, which soon afterwards 
gained him the direction of the Corps d'armee in Italy. 

The British Government now became alarmed, and resolved on send- 
ing the Duke of York to Flanders with 10,000 troops. Among the evils 
of the Hanoverian succession was, that it dragged Britain into the vortex 
of continental politics, and often made her subservient to the King's 
views in favour of his electorate. The present was one of the 
instances. This decision of co-operation may be said to have commit- 
ted this country to a line of policy which engaged its army and navy, 
more or less persistently for upwards of twenty years, and terminated 
only in varying success, with the crowning victory of Waterloo, and the 
occupation of Paris in the summer of 1815. 


THE force sent to Flanders (1793) was a serious drain on the strength of 
the army, which must be made good without delay. The Government 
viewed it in that light, and ordered commissions to be issued forth- 
with for the enrolment of twenty-two regiments for general service (from 
the 79th to the 100th), sixteen of which were subsequently made perma- 
nent, and added to the establishment. Other bodies were also raised for 
home services, known as " Fencibles." Now was the time for Alan to 
bestir himself. Applicants, with influence and claims on the War Office, 
were greatly in excess of the number required. Lord Cornwallis' previous 
recommendation in his favour was found of advantage in support of 
Alan's present application, inasmuch that the " Letter of Service" granted 
in his favour was among the first of the batch gazetted on the 17th of Aug. 


1793. Although Major-Commandant Cameron (he will be now named 
by his successive vauks in the army) had reason to In satisfied with the 
success of his application for the "Letters," yet the terms and conditions 
embodied were not only illiberal, but even exacting, a circumstance he 
had an opportunity some time afterwards of pointing out to one of His 
Majesty's sons (the Duke of York). The document is too long and not 
sufficiently interesting to be quoted, and an extract or two from it must 
suffice. "All the officers the ensigns and staff-officers exccpted are to be 
appointed from the half-pay list, according to their present rank, taking 
care, however, that the former only are recommended who have not taken 
any difference in their being placed on half-pay. The men are to be 
engaged without limitation as to the period of their service, and without 
any allowance of levy money, but the;/ are not to be drafted info any 
other regiments." On receipt of this official communication from the 
War Office, Major Cameron had an intimation from his father-in-law 
Squire Philips that money to the extent of his requirements for the 
expenses of attaining his ambition, would be placed at his disposal. This 
act of generosity relieved the Major from one of his difficulties. The next 
consideration was how far it might be prudent to make the recruiting 
ground his own native district of Lochaber, when it is remembered that 
he left that country as a fugitive from the vengeance of a considerable por- 
tion of its inhabitants. The terms of his " Letters of Service " restricted 
him in the disposal of the commissions which might have been offered them 
as a means of pacification, but the few left in his power he decided at once 
to confer on those sons of families who might be in influential positions and 
otherwiee eligible for the appointments. With this view he despatched 
several copies of the London Gazette containing the " authority to raise a 
Highland llegiment" to his brother Ewan (known in later years as Eoyhann 
Mor an Eamaclid) with a letter, both of which he was enjoined to make as 
widely and as publicly known as possible. The letter is, if somewhat 
plausible, frank enough, and characteristic of his conduct throughout his 
varied career in life. In it he states that, "having been favoured with the 
honour of embodying a Highland Ixegiment for His Majesty's service; where 
could 1 go to obey that order but to my own native Lochaber; and with 
that desire I have decided on appealing to their forgiveness of byegone 
events, and their loyalty to the sovereign in his present exigencies. The 
fc\v commissions at my disposal shall be offered first to the relatives of 
tin' gentleman whose life, \infortunately, was sacrificed by my hand." 

The printing press, even of the capital of the County of Inverness was 
not so advanced in those days, as to have circulars printed of the fore- 
going proclamation. Therefore, the brother had to transcribe copies as best 
he could, which he did to some effect, inasmuch that before Alan arrived 
in Lochaber, on his mission, Ewan had already engaged the complement of 
a company to start with, all of whom he retained on his farm at Earrachd 
till the arrival of the Major. Thus the credit of gathering the nucleus of 
tin 1 now famous 79th is due to Eoyhann Mor, for which service the 
Major procured him a commission as captain and recruiting officer, for his 
regiment, in that district. 

(To be Continued.) 



IT is to be regretted, since the art of printing has existed for so many 
centuries, that nothing in the Gaelic was ever produced in the form of a 
printed hook until the year 1567. No doubt many valuable documents, 
poems, and charters were written on parchment and paper in that vener- 
able language previous to that date, but the first Gaelic book was Bishop 
Carsewell's Translation of Knox's Liturgy, which was printed in the above 
year. Forms of prayer, the Administration of the Sacraments, and the 
Catechism of the Reformed Church of Scotland were composed by Knox, 
and published in a small volume. Carsewell was an earnest and zealous 
man, and in the discharge of his pastoral duties in districts where the 
Gaelic was the vernacular tongue, he could not fail to see the benefit to 
be derived from a manual in that language for the instruction of the 
people, and hence the translation and printing of the volume just alluded 
to. It was in the duodecimo form, and consisted of about three hundred 
pages. The printer was Eobert Lekprevik who was remarkable in his 
day for the successful manner in which he executed black-letter printing. 
It was he who produced from his press "The Eeasoning betwixt the 
Abbot of Crossraguel and John Knox," to Avhich book were attached the 
words : " Imprinted at Edinburgh by Eobert Lekprevik, and are to be 
soldo at his hous at the Netherbow, 1563." 

It would appear that about that time this notable printer removed 
from Edinburgh to St Andrews, where printing of different kinds was 
carried on, to what was then considered a great extent. It was while in 
that town that he printed "Davidson's Metrical Version of Knox's 
History and Doctrines," in a volume of considerable size. The work was 
entitled: "Ane brief commendation of Uprichtness." "Imprentit at 
Sanctandrois be Eobert Lekprevik, anno 1573." 

It is a matter of no small regret to the lovers of the Celtic tongue, as 
Avell as to philologists in general, that the very interesting translation of 
Bishop Carsewell is now hardly to be had anywhere. It is said that the 
Duke of Argyle has a copy of it in his library at Inveraray Castle ; and 
it is well known that another copy, and a very complete one, was in the 
possession of a well-known Gaelic scholar, and excellent Christian man, 
the late Mr John Eose, teacher at Aberarder, parish of Dunlichity, near 
Inverness. It is not known what has become of the copy of which Mr 
Eose was the owner, but it would be pleasing if it were somewhere in 
safe-keeping, and still more pleasing if it would find its way to the library 
shelves of the Gaelic Society of Inverness. The rarity of the little work 
in question makes it the more valuable, and while out of print it cannot 
be replaced. 

The language of thisjBinall volume differs a little in spelling from the 
Gaelic of the present day, yet it is, upon the whole very plain, and quite 
intelligible to any one acquainted with the pronunciation of it. This may 
l^e seen, and better understood, by giving a small quotation from the work 


viz., the concluding declaration of the learned translator, which runs as 
follows: "Do chriochnvigheadh an leabhran beag so, le Heasbug Ind- 
seadh gall, an, 24 la do Mhi. Aprile sa seachtmhadh bliadhain tar thri 
fithid agas ar chuig cod, agas ar Mhile bliadhain dandaladh ar Dtighearua 
losa Criosd. Sa gcuigeadh bliadhain tar fithid do IJighe na Eioghna ro 
chumhachtaighe Marie Banrighan na Halban." 

The printer has . concluded this interesting but now rare volume, by 
the words : " Do Bvaileadh so agclo an Dvn Edin le Roibeart Lekprevik, 
24 Aprilis, 1567." 

John Carsewell, by all accounts, was a faithful servant of his Divine 
Master. He not only preached the "Word with earnestness and power, but 
was always instant in season and out of season " a workman that needeth 
not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." He was for some 
years Hector of Kilmartin, a parish in the county of Argyle ; but after 
the Reformation he was made Bishop of the Western Isles. A certain 
writer has said of the reverend gentleman that " he early joined the 
reformed clergy, and when the Protestant doctrine was ratified by Parlia- 
ment in 1560, he was appointed Superintendent of Argyle. The super- 
intendents, it will be recollected, were ministers set over a large district 
or diocese, in which they were appointed regularly to travel, for the 
purpose of preaching the gospel, of planting churches, and of inspecting 
the conduct of ministers, exhorters, and readers. They were, in fact, 
Bishops, but (according to the Book of Discipline) they were not " to be 
suffered to live idle, as the Bishops had done heretofore." Bishop 
Carsewell was wealthy and lived in -state at Carnassary Castle, now in 
ruins, at the head of the Valley of Kilmartin. 

This volume of Bishop Carsewell, to which the attention of the readers 
of the CV///V Mmjuzhu' is now called, is very interesting from another 
point of view. In consequence of some incidental remarks made by the 
learned bishop, it will be seen that in his day traditions existed in the 
Highlands and Islands in regard to the Ossianic poetry. This is a fact 
Avhich ought to be of no small importance in the present day, when such 
keen controversies exist as to the authenticity of the poetical productions 
attributed to Ossian. It is surely unreasonable to suppose if the poems 
in question had been the creation of James Macpherson, how it became 
possible for Bishop Carsewell to allude to the traditions in the Highlands 
and Islands regarding Fingal and his heroes upwards of tAvo hundred 
years before Macpherson's day ! Such direct and legitimate evidence as 
this ought to be allowed to have its full weight and force ; and no pre- 
judice on the part of such as are ignorant of the elegance and beauty of 
the Gaelic language ought to lead them away from a desire to believe 
what is really the truth. Carsewell dedicated his interesting volume to 
the Earl of Argyle, on whom he looked as his patron, and who, by his 
power and influence, aided the good Bishop in his earnest endeavours to 
promote the temporal and spiritual good of the population of his estates, 
as well as of that of the Highlands and Islands at large. 

In his somewhat lengthy dedication, the following passage appears, 
which is here given as faithfully translated by the Committee of the 
Highland Society in their report on the poems of Ossian. 


The passage in question runs as follows : " But there is one great 
disadvantage which we, the Gael of Scotland and Ireland, labour under, 
"beyond the rest of the world, that our Gaelic language has never yet been 
printed, as the language of every other race of men has been ; and we 
labour under a disadvantage which is still greater than every other 
disadvantage, that we have not the Holy Bible printed in Gaelic, as it 
has been printed in Latin and English, and in every other language, and 
also that we have never yet had any account printed of the antiquities of 
our country, or of our ancestors ; for though we have some accounts of 
the Gael of Scotland and Ireland contained in manuscripts, and in the 
genealogies of bards and historiographers, yet there is great labour in 
writing them over with the hand, whereas the work which is printed, be 
it ever so great, is speedily finished. And great is the blindness and 
sinful darkness, and ignorance, and evil design of such as teach, and 
write, and cultivate the Gaelic language, that, with the view of obtaining 
for themselves the vain rewards of this world, they are more desirous, 
and more accustomed to compose vain, tempting, lying, worldly histories 
concerning the ' seann daiu,' arid concerning warriors and champions, and 
Eingal, the son of Cumhail, with his heroes, and concerning many others 
which I will not at present enumerate or mention, in order to maintain 
or reprove, than to write and teach, and maintain the faithful words of 
God, and of the perfect way of truth." 

It may be seen from this that the learned Bishop naturally complained 
of the great disadvantage under which the Gael, both in Scotland and 
Ireland, laboured in their not being possessed of any book whatever in 
the Gaelic, as nothing hitherto had ever been printed in that language. 
It would have been both interesting and instructive to have had the 
annals of their country recorded in this manner, as they could not have 
depended so much on the still more vague and uncertain narratives to 
which were handed down from age to age by tradition. No doubt the 
bards and seanachies had their manuscripts and parchments in which 
many important facts, and many ancient productions in poetry were 
recorded, but these were at best but comparatively few, and could benefit 
the community but to a small extent, compared with the productions of 
even such printing-presses as were made use of by the renowned Lek- 
previk. The want of the Holy Scriptures in the Gaelic language particu- 
larly in districts where it was the only spoken language, was a 
disadvantage which the good Bishop deeply deplored ; and that want 
was no doubt the chief cause of his publishing his " Forms of Prayer, 
&c.," to facilitate his ministerial labours arnor>g the Highlanders. Had 
the Bishop been a prophet in a sense, and had he been able to have fore- 
seen the keen c mtroversies that were to take place two centuries after his 
time, relative to the poems that told of Fingal and his warriors, he would 
have given a more detailed account of the Ossianic poetry which was no 
rare thing in his day. Posterity would have felt very grateful to the 
learned gentleman if he had enlarged somewhat on the songs and tales of 
olden times, as he had every opportunity of hearing them rehearsed by 
the family bards of chieftains, as well as by the clan seanachies who made 
such things their sole employment. Carswell seemed to think (as many 
clergymen have thought in latter times) that the Highlanders, among 


whom he laboured, paid too much attention to their songs and tales about 
warriors and Fingalian battles, and thereby neglected the more important 
preparations for a future world. In all probability he directed his 
eloquent addresses against such practices, although by no means successful 
in extinguishing them. For two centuries they descended from age to 
age, and were communicated from sire to son, until ultimately stamped 
out by the effects of adverse changes, and of the altered economy in the 
management of the Highlands and Islands. 


KILMUIK, SKYE, IN 1842 OSSIAN AND WITCHCRAFT. There is no medical 
practitioner nearer than the village of Portree, upwards of twenty miles 
distant, and the consequence is that he is never sent for but in cases of 
extreme danger. Three or four individuals lately died at the age of 100. 
In the district of Steinscholl a man died about twelve years ago, named John 
Nicolson, or Maccormaic, at the very advanced age of 105. There is one 
circumstance connected with this old man's history worthy of notice, which 
is, that he could repeat the most of Ossian's Fingal, Temora, &c., with great 
fluency and precision. The writer of this heard him say that he committed 
these beautiful poems to memory from hearing them repeated, when a boy, 
by his grandfather. If this fact be not sufficient to establish the authenticity 
of these unparalleled poems, it must surely establish the truth, that they 
existed before the time of Macpherson, who attempted to translate them 
into the English language. The silly allegation by some that Ossian's poems 
were Macpherson's own production is palpably confuted by Mac Cormaic and 
others, who could repeat them before Macpherson was born. But should 
that not have been the case, and should none have been found who could 
rehearse them before Macpherson's time, the allegation that they were either 
by Macpherson, or by any other in the age in which he lived, appears ridicul- 
ous in the sight of such as know the construction and beauty of the Celtic 
language. . . . Some time ago the natives firmly believed in the exist- 
ence of the " Gruagach," a female spectre of the class of Brownies, to whom 
the dairy-maids made frequent libations of milk. The "Gruagach" was said 
to be an innocent supernatural visitor, who frisked and gambolled about the 
pens and folds. She was armed only with a pliable reed, with which she 
switched any who would annoy her, either by uttering obscene language or 
by neglecting to leave for her a share of the dairy production. Even so late 
as 3770, the dairy-maids, who attended a herd of cattle in the Island of 
Trodda, were in the habit of pouring daily a quantity of milk in a hollow 
stone for the " Gruagach." Should they neglect to do so they were sure of 
feeling the effects of Miss Brownie's wand next day. It is said that the Rev. 
Donald Macqueen, then minister of this parish, went purposely to Trodda to 
check that gross superstition. He might then have succeeded for a time in 
doing so, but it is known that many believed in the " Gruagach's" existence 
long after that reverend gentleman's death. Besides the votaries of this 
ridiculous superstitution, there are others who confidently believe in the 
existence of a malignant look or evil eye, by which cattle and all kinds of 
property are said to suffer injury. The glance of an evil eye is consequently 
very much dreaded. No doubts are entertained that it deprives cows of their 
milk, and milk of its nuti-itive qualities so as to render it unfit for the various 
preparations made from it. This superstition can certainly lay claim to 
great antiquity. , 

'* Nescio ijiiix Icui'fn.t oi-nliix mill! fascinat agnos." Virg. 
New Statistical Account of Kilm'iir, Mi/c, " c/miot up /<</ J/V AlwDidcr 
M</i;/reyor, M. A., Licentiate of the Church of Scotland, and son of the Incumbent." 



Grey Blavin in grandeur gold-crested appears, 

As swift sinks the sun in the west, 
Whose gleams of departure, as love-guarding spears, 

Skim over the blue ocean's breast : 
The lav'rock pours sweetly his ev'ning joy song, 

Lone cushats croon soft in each vale, 
Pale gloaming's low melodies linger among 

The beauties of loved Armadale : 

It is the hour when raptures reign, 
It is the hour when joys prevail, 

I'll hie away to meet again 
My Flora, Star of Armadale ; 
Armadale ! Armadale ! 

Flora, Star of Armadale : 

The dim robe of night over Knoydart's brown hills, 

Comes weirdly with dark-shading lour, 
Slow-stealing it shrouds the repose it full tills 

With calm's hallowed, heart-clinging, pow'r : 
It tells of a maiden whose heart I have got, 

It whispers the love-longing tale, 
It bids me away to yon heather-thatched cot, 

Snug nestling by sweet Armadale : 

[t is the hour of Nature's peace, 
It is the hour when smiles unveil 

The beauty which bids love increase 
For Flora, Star of Armadale ; 
Armadale ! Armadale ! 

Flora, Star of Armadale : 

Her eyes are as dark as the gloom of Loch Hourn, 

Yet soft as the gaze of a fawn, 
Still darker the tressus that crown to adorn 

A brow like a light-mellowed dawn . 
Her voice is a fountain of summer's dream-song, 

Her smiles can the budding rose pale, 
O ! rare are the graces which humbly belong 

To Flora of dear Armadale : 

It is the hour of love's alarms, 
It is the hour when throbs assail 

This heart which glows beneath the charms 
Of Flora, Star of Armadale ; 
Armadale ! Armadale ! 

Flora, Star of Armadale : 





LL.D., Minister of the Gospel, Editor and Biographer of Robert Burns, Translator of 
the Psalms into Scottish, dec. Glasgow : JAMES MACLEHOSE, Publisher to the 

University, 1875. 

WE cannot, after careful study of this book, assign to it any but the first 
place in Ossianic literature. In style of composition it is pure, dignified 
and eloquent ; in substance and matter it surpasses beyond reach of com- 
parison any book hitherto written on the same subject. It can scarcely 
be doubted, indeed, that this great work has rescued a discussion which 
even in the highest hands seemed descending to mere verbal quibbles and 
party abuse from such a degradation, and has raised it to a position ,which 
if it ever held before, it was rapidly losing. The subject is now made 
universal; it enters on a new life, strengthened with a new element 
which will never now be overlooked. A culminating point has been 
reached for all preceding criticism, and a sure foundation has been laid 
for a new school of investigation, other and higher than the dogmatism of 
Johnson, Laing, or Macaulay. We know not how far these men were 
able to comprehend and appreciate such pure and unique creations as 
those of Ossian, but it is to be attributed neither to their refined and 
cultivated taste, to their critical discernment, nor yet to their historical 
and literary knowledge that they despised and abandoned, as mere myths 
of savage tribes or wholesale fabrications of a modern literateur, the 
poetic annals of their own land and the grand historical epics where the 
actions of Norsemen, Scots, and Eomans alike, are pourtrayed and immor- 
talised. Now, however, these works stand on a new footing; compre- 
hensible, beautiful, and historical every one, deserving more than ever 
the enthusiastic admiration with which all nations have received them, 
for now it can be based on reason and knowledge. 

The historical and critical value of this book, and the change it will 
effect not only on the Ossianic literature, but on the poems themselves, 
may easily be seen in three ways at least. First, the importance of the 
question discussed, the universal character of the poems, and the historical 
results depending on the decision of their authenticity are now clearly 
set forth. It has been the prevalent, if not the only way of examining 
these works, to regard them merely os interesting literary productions, 
relics of ancient poetry or modern frauds, and to determine their truth or 
falsity, as the case might be, by such tests as the character of the trans- 
lator, the means of preserving and collecting such poems, and especially 
the form of the language found in them. These were the only grounds 
of criticism. Nor did even their most ardent supporters seem to see 
much higher results involved than the recognition of some early national 
songs and ballads, or the preservation of the oldest Celtic literature of the 
country. To them it was an interesting and important discussion in this 


li<rht onlv ; the history contained in these songs they either did not 
understand, or entirely neglected. It has been reserved for the author of 
this book to shew, beyond dispute or doubt, that the poems of Ossian are 
not on the one side merely grand romances or national myths, or on the 
other only curious literary deceptions ; they are tales of history, grand 
and romantic certainly, but unreal or deceptive never ; annals of war and 
songs of love for Scotland, Ireland, Iceland, and Denmark ; lives of these 
countries' heroes, pictures of their lands. And though more may yet be 
discovered, and stranger things be proved, this at least the early history 
of these nations with their lawgivers, kings, and emperors, Scotch and 
Koman, Celt and Saxon ; Avith their wars and works, their public acts 
and private life, their religion, their customs, their trade ; their moors 
and glens and streams, their Roman walls and battlefields this, and 
nothing less than this, is Ossian ; in interest and importance coming 
close beside Homer, both as historian and poet, and leaving Junius, 
Chatterton, the German " Epistolre," &c., far, far behind : 

O, Johnson, Pinkerton, Macaulay, and the rest to say that this was all bombast and 
a lie ! But you kuew nothing of Arran : you never traversed the vale of Shisken, nor 
surveyed its monuments, nor considered its geography ; nor heard the rustic of the 
winds, in your imagination, among its prostrate woods ; nor glanced on the surge of its 
departed lake, nor compared its traditions with the text of Ossian ; yet neither did 
Macpherson, whom you have accused of falsehood and forgery ; he was equally ignorant 
of it all. How strange you now look confronted with him thus ; how strange he 
himself looks, in the bewilderment of unexpected victory at the grave of Oscar and by 
the tomb of Malvina ; with the ghosts of fifteen hundred years ago, awoke from the 
dead, to enlighten and convict you yourselves now ghosts, like them in the pride of 
your unbelief ! . . . Even the possibility of reply is foreclosed, by the verdict of the 
whole landscape around you. The earth, the water, the wind and very clouds are agreed 
about it. The sunbeam from the east, beyond the grave at Glenree there, glances 
golden rebuke on your dull culumnies, and the ebbing fiord of Sliddery carries your 
vaunted authority to sea. The fine-drawn light which shimmers thus, through so many 
centuries, on fallen forests, wasted lakes, and mouldering dead dispels the last obstruc- 
tion of your scorn and our controversy with you is ended. 

But still further, these poems assume a new form, and a peculiar 
interest in being now by Dr Waddell harmonized and united into one 
grand series, linked together in a contimious chain. They are no longer 
detached fragments, doubtful and incomprehensible myths, unknown and 
unanalysable ; they have unity now, the unity which belongs to the works 
of one universal poet, as well the unity of history. Such an analysis and 
conception of these works has never before been attempted. A critic 
here and there has examined and partially explained one or two pieces, 
as separate poems, but always imperfectly and with hesitation ; afraid 
evidently of his conclusions, not yet having discovered the clue to this 
labyrinth of song. Nor can we wonder that critics and commentators 
should hesitate to tread upon ground where the translator himself was at 
fault ; for, however faithfully he compared and considered, he did not 
understand the geography of Ossian. He gathered the poems as fragments, 
and fragments they remained to him ; for though he might strive hard to 
explain and connect them, yet while he had little idea of the places 
described |it was impossible he could succeed ; they are all descriptive 
poems, and require to be localised. This formerly confused mass of 
Highland and Irish tradition and geography Dr Waddell has fearlessly 
attacked and completely mastered, the unexplored land has all been 
surveyed and cleared up, and the truth and harmony of the Ossianic 


poems demonstrated. And by whom ? By a Southern Scot an actual 
"Son of the Stranger" who examined, and who discusses, the quest ion 
purely on its merits; and who is proof against the charges of narrow 
Highland bigotry and prejudice, which would have been so effectively hurled 
against a native of " Tir nam leann nangleann 's nan yaiscjeach" by other 
Southerners who never expended a single moment in a personal study of 
the question, but accepted their opinions and conclusions second hand. 

The most important matter however, in this volume, and which alone 
rendered the foregoing results possible, is the method pursued. It is 
upon this that all else is based, and without which Ossian would still 
have remained the inexplicable enigma he not long ago really was ; for 
not all the criticism which has been lavished on this ancient and immortal 
bard by professors, philologists, and philosophers, has rendered him one 
Avhit more clear or perspicuous, but has certainly raised discussion and 
animosity enough between the opposing combatants. And the reason is, 
that no man yet has got farther in his analysis than the mere words and 
letters of the text, their various spelling or combinations, their ancient or 
modern use, their Celtic or Saxon origin, their gender, number, and case. 
Philology is, has been, and will always be a useful and most important 
science beyond many others; but philology may be, and has often been, 
shamefully abused and mocked. The " dry light" of truth and certainty 
for which everbody is toiling and labouring in art, religion, philosophy, 
and literature, is concealfd by more than the darkness of printers' types 
in mere verbal criticism the most popular, but perhaps the most 
pernicious habit of the day. The form of the poetry in Ossian, apart from 
all its spirit and substance, has long been analysed, investigated, discussed, 
destroyed, and built up again ; yielding all the fruit it seems likely ever 
to yield, more doubt and more discussion ; tense-endings and inflections 
have been tried and found wanting. 

The method we now speak of has abandoned all such criticism, or, at 
least, made it entirely subservient to a higher and more comprehensive 
one ; and has brought into the darkness of the Ossianic controversy a 
revelation bright as noonday. The spirit of the poems has 1 eeu taken 
instead of the letter, the contents instead of the words, the geography of 
Scotland as it stands instead of inflections, and the history of our own 
and of other nations has been substituted for emendations and various 
readings. And by this means a work has been done for the Highlands, 
for Scotland and for Europe, which can scarcely be realised ; the history 
of Scotland, and with it the history of a great part of Europe in some of 
its darkest ages, has been revealed, and the literature of our country 
saved. Nor does the man who has done this need thanks, although, at the 
hands of all, and especially of Highlanders, he certainly deserves them. 
The work is its own reward. 

We shall now come more to details and give some examples of the 
way in which Dr AN' add ell conducts his investigations, and of the dis- 
coveries which follow from them in the region of geography alone. For 
the convincing identification, however, of the places named, we must ivfer 
the reader to the book itself. 

Dr Waddell seems to have been a believer, from his youth, in the 


authenticity of Ossian by what he calls moral instinct, founded merely 
on the characteristics of Macpherson's text its simplicity, sublimity, and 
coherence. Judging of it by these attributes alone, he could never doubt 
it ; and from this, the next step was easy and indeed necessary if Ossian 
in his opinion was thus authentically true, Ossian ought also to be 
historically and geographically true ; and therefore the whole, or at least 
the principal, object of his investigation has been to declare that truth by 
demonstrating the actual correspondence of nature to the letter of the 
translation, even where Macpherson himself had never seen it. And this 
undeniable fact, the ignorance of the translator as to the whereabouts of 
the places accurately described in his own text, is one of the strongest 
proofs he makes use of. This interesting method seems to have been 
suggested to him first by discoveries in the island of Arran, where the 
tomb of Ossian, and the graves of Fingal, Oscar, and Malvina were 
pointed out to him by the people, and authenticated by tradition. On 
examining all the allusions in the translation, they were found exactly to 
confirm the identity of these places ; yet Macpherson never was in Arran. 
Next, Dr Waddell proceeded to examine the whole Frith of Clyde, where 
equally distinct proofs awaited him. He shews that the Clyde must have 
been a fiord to Rutherglen and Bothwell in Ossian's day, and that 
Balclutha must have been identical with Castlemilk, or some other ruined 
fortress near Rutherglen, and not as commonly supposed, with Dunglass 
or Dumbarton. The Kelvin, both in name and character is the Colavain 
of Ossian, and was a fiord up to Kilsyth ; near which he discovers the 
actual scene of Comala's death, and of the triumph of Oscar over 
Carausius, a little to the east. Here too, Macpherson was completely at 
fault. In the north of Ireland, from the descriptive text of Fingal and 
Temora, the valley of the Six-Mile-Water is found to correspond in the 
most minute particulars with the scenes of these poems, whereas Macpher- 
son by mere guess-work placed them much farther south and west. In 
the Orkney Islands, by a similar process of minute verification, he finds 
Carricthura at Castle Thuroe in Hoy ; and the celebrated scene of Fingal's 
encounter with Loda, near the well-known Dwarfie Stone on the west 
coast of that island. In Iceland, by a most irrefragable demonstration, 
he identifies the dried-up fountain at Reikum with the " fount of the 
mossy stones," and the plain of Thingvalla with the plain of the pestifer- 
ous Lano both in the War of Inisthona. 

Now the only, and to many the great, difficulty in the way of 
accepting such proof in its entirety, is the boldness of the author's 
assumption that the Frith of Clyde must have been from seventy to eighty 
feet higher in Ossian's era that is, in the time of the Romans than it 
now is ; but if this be proved it adds another conclusive proof to the 
authenticity of Ossian, for Macpherson was ignorant likewise of this. 
The possibility of such a fact has already been loudly challenged by a 
scientific reviewer in the Scotsman, whose objections, however, have been 
conclusively answered by Dr Waddell in the same paper, and in the last 
three numbers of the Celtic Magazine ; indeed the exquisite photographic 
views in the work of the actual marine formations 011 the Clyde, and the 
sectional views of the coast at other points, leave no room for serious doubt 
on the subject. 



Besides all this, Dr Waddell adds a critical dissertation on Macpherson's 
text, to shew the impossibility of his having tampered with the original, 
illustrating this part of his argument by references to Berrathort, Croma, 
and Conlath and Culhona. He has also introduced an interesting statis- 
tical summary, gathered from Ossian, of the manners, customs, religious 
observances, and scientific knowledge of the age ; which may be studied 
with much benefit. In the appendix \ve have a curious history of the 
Irish people from the earliest traditional dates down to the time of 
Ossian, compiled from reliable chronicles, hitherto, we suspect, very little 
known ; the whole book being illustrated by many beautiful wood-cuts 
and original maps. The exquisite little poem which completes the work 
we cannot omit : 



Born of earthquakes, lonely giant, 
Sphinx and eagle couched ou high ; 

Dumb, defiant, self-reliant, 
Breast on earth and beak in sky : 

Built in chaos, burnt-out beacon, 
Long extinguished, dark, and bare, 

Ere life's friendly ray could break ou 
Shelvy shore or islet fair : 

Dwarf to atlas, child to Etna, 
Stepping-stone to huge Mont Blanc; 

Cairn to cloudy Chimborazo, 
Higher glories round thee hane ! 

Baal-tein hearth, for friend and foeman ; 

"Warden of the mazy Clyde ; 
In thy shadow, Celt and Roman, 

Proudly galley'd, swept the tide ! 

Scottish Sinai, God's out-rider, 
When he wields his lightning wand ; 

From thy flanks, a king and spider 
Taught, and saved, and ruled the land ! 

Smoking void and planet rending, 

Island rise and ocean fall, 
Frith unfolding, field extending 

Thou hast seen and felt them all. 

Armies routed, navies flouted, 

Tyrants fallen, people free ; 
Cities built and empires clouted, 

Like the world, are known to thee. 

Science shining, love enshrining, 
Truth and patience conquering hell ; 

Miracles beyond divining, [tell. 

Could'st thou speak, thy tongue would 

Rest awhile, the nations gather, 

Sick of folly, lies, and sin, 
To kneel to the eternal Father 

Then the kingdom shall begin ! 

Rest awhile, some late convulsion, 
Time enough shall shake thy bed : 

Rest awhile, at Death's expulsion, 
Living green shall clothe thy head ! 

WE are glad to find that the Queen's Book " Leaves from the Journal of 
our Life in the Highlands" will soon appear in Gaelic. The translation is 
by the Rev. John Patrick St Clair, St Stephen's, Perth, who is an excellent 
scholar, with a deep-rooted love for his Gaelic vernacular. This news can- 
not but be gratifying to the patriotic Highlander all over the world, who has 
ever been loyal to Her Majesty, as a. descendant of the Stuarts ; and espe- 
cially should a work be welcome, in our native language, in which the high- 
est in the realm describes the Highlander as " one of a race of peculiar inde- 
pendence and elevated feeling." What has become of the Highland Society's 
Translation entrusted to the late Mr Macpherson ? 



SECRETARY GAELIC SOCIETY OF SYDNEY. Letter received and sentiments recipro- 
cated. Great success to your Society. Your instructions are attended to. 

D. O. CAMERON, NOKOMAI, NEW ZEALAND. Letter received and contents noted. 
The Publishers of the Celtic Magazine and the Publisher of "Knockie's Highland 
Music " are not the same. 

"WM. KENNEDY, BURMAH. Letter and P.O.O. received. Your suggestions will be 
duly considered. 

THE HIGHLAND CEILIDH. The answer to the many enquiries and complaints 
regarding its non-appearance last month is, that it was unavoidably crushed out for want 
of space. 

Mackenzie of the Celtic Magazine. We regret no more copies can be supplied as it is out 
of print. Mr Noble, bookseller, Castle Street, to whom we refer R. M'L. and P. M'E., 
has a few copies left. 

GAELIC TEACHING IN HIGHLAND SCHOOLS. An article on the subject will appear 
in the next the April number. It is impossible to please everybody.all at once, and it 
is just as well that we delayed discussing such an important question until the Celtic 
Magazine had secured an acknowledged position as a representative mirror of moderate 
and intelligent Highland opinion. 

IN answer to " A. R.'s " query in No. III., asking which is the " best standard for 
Gaelic orthography ? " permit me to say that I do not know offany standard upon which 
any two writers of Gaelic absolutely agree ; but, on the whole, I think the orthography 
of the Gaelic Bible is now, with very slight modification, adopted generally by the best 
writers, so much so, that it may HOW be considered the best and safest standard of 
Gaelic orthography to follow. Most of those who read and write Gaelic learnt to read 
it first out of the Gaelic Scriptures, so that they are more acquainted with their ortho- 
graphy, and naturally prefer to read and write it. Deer's Ch'ass. 

" MACAOIDH " wishes to get information regarding the famous pipers the Mackays 
of Gairloch the most celebrated of whom was John, or "Iain Dall." John's father 
Ruairidh Dall came to Gairloch from Lord Reay's country ; and, no doubt, belonged 
to that sept the chief branch of the Mackays. I am not aware of the cause which led 
Ruairidh Dall to leave his own country, but it is well known that his son often visited 
the country of his ancestors, and that Lord Eeay was one of his patrons. On one 
occasion, when on his way to visit his lordship, the "Blind Piper" was informed at 
Tongue of the .death of his patron, when he at cnce composed that magnificent 
poem " Coire 'n-Easain," than which there is nothing more truly beautiful in the Gaelic 
language, and which would, by itself, immortalize the fame of any man. There are some of 
his descendants, on the female side, still living in Gairloch, but none of them ever gave any 
signs of possessing in the slightest degree the musical or poetical talents of their 
progenitors. I am told some of the family are still living in America, who continue to 
inherit the musical genius of the " Blind Pipers " of Gairloch, and will be glad, in 
common with " Macaoidh," if some of your North British American readers will supply 
any information regarding them. Cailleach a Mhuillear. 

GAIRLOCH BARD.- -It is well known that these good and distinguished men (each in his 
own way) were great friends, and both composed poems of considerable merit. I heard 
it stated that, on one occasion, during one of Alastair's visits to his friend " Mr 
Lachlan," the famous divine requested the bard to compose a poem on the " Resurrec- 
tion of Christ." To this he demurred and told Mr Lachlan in Gaelic that "he knew 
more about such matters himself, and should try his own hand on such an elevated 
theme." "Hud a dhuine," says Mr Lachlan, " cha'n fhaod gun tig eadar cairdean mar 
sin. Ni mise 'n deilbh 's dean thusa 'n fkighidh. (Hut man, friends must not cast out 
in that manner, I'll do the warping but you must do the weaving.) The poem a very 
fine one I am told was composed by the bard and approved by the divine ; and I 
would esteem it a great favour if some of your readers would supply a copy of it. It 
has never been published as far as I know. Indeed, the only pieces of Alastair Buidhe's, 
although he composed many, besides having a' hand in several of "Wm. Ross', which were 
ever published, are " Tifjh Dirje na Fir Eachannach" and " Clann Domhnuill mhor nan 
Eileanan" (the latter unacknowledged by the publisher), and his elegy on Bailie Hector of 
Dingwall, given in a recent number of the -Celtic Magazinem the "Highland Ceilidh." 
Lochcarron from Home. 


. VI. APRIL 1876. 




Stair meanwhile had made up his mind, and through his influence 
the certificate of Maclan having signed his allegiance was suppressed, 
and on the llth of January, and afterwards on the 16th, instructions 
signed and countersigned by the Kinj came forth in \Vhich the inhabi- 
tants of Glencoe were expressly exempted from the pardon given to the 
other clans, and extreme measures ordered against them. A letter was 
sent by Lord Stair to Colonel Hill commanding him to execute the pur- 
poses of the Government, but he showed such reluctance that the 
commission was given to one Colonel Hamilton instead, who had no 
scruples. He was ordered to take a detacliment of 120 men, chiefly 
belonging to a clan regiment levied by Argyle, and consequently animated 
by bitter feudal animosity towards the Macdonalds. 

Towards the close of January a company of armed Highlanders appear 
wending their way toward the opening of the Valley of Glencoe. The 
Macdonalds, fearing they have come for their arms, send them away to a 
place of concealment, and then came forth to meet the strangers. They 
find it is a party of Argyle's soldiers, commanded by Captain Campbell of 
Glenlyon, whose niece (a sister by the way of Rob Roy) is married to 
Alastair Macdonald, one of Maclan's sons. They ask if they have come 
as friends or foes. They reply, as friends, but as the garrison at Fort- 
William is crowded they had been sent to quarter themselves for a few 
days at Glencoe. They are received with open arms, feuds are forgotten, 
and for a fortnight all is harmony and even hilarity in the hamlet. 

Loud in all the clustering cottages 
Rose sounds of melody and voice of mirth ; 
The measured madness of the dancelis there, 
And the wild rapture of the feast of shells. 
Warm hands are clasped to hands that firm reply, 
And friendship glows and brightens into love. 

Thus for a fortnight matters go on, when on the 1st of February 
orders are issued by Hamilton to his subordinate, Major Duncanson, 
fixing five o'clock next morning for the slaughter of all the Macdonalds 
under seventy, and enjoining the various detachments of men to be at 
their posts by that hour to secure the passes of the glen that not one of 
the doomed race might escape. Especial care was to be taken that the old 



fox and his cubs should not escape, and that (what cool but hellish words), 
" that the Government was not to be troubled with prisoners." These 
fell orders Duncanson handed on to Glenlyon, who gladly received and 
proceeded to carry them into execution with prompt and portentous 

With such injunctions in his pocket, Glenlyon proceeded to act the 
Judas part with consumate skill. He supped and played at cards, on the 
evening of the 12th, with John and Alexander Macdonald two of his 
intended victims ; and he and his lieutenant (Lindsay) accepted an invita- 
tion to dine with old Maclan for the next day. At five o'clock on the 
morning of the 13th Hamilton hoped to have secured all the eastern 
passes to prevent the escape of any fugitives, but, at all events, then must 
Glenlyon begin his work of death. 

All now is silent over the devoted hamlet. All are sleeping with the 
exception of the two sons of Maclan, who had been led to entertain some 
suspicions that all was not right. They had observed that the sentinels 
had been doubled and the guard increased. Some of the soldiers too had 
been heard muttering their dislike to the treacherous task to which they 
had been commissioned. The Macdonalds, in alarm, came to Glenlyon's 
quarters a little after midnight, and found him preparing, along with his 
men, for immediate service. They asked him what was the meaning of 
all this, and he, with dauntless effrontery, replied that he and his men 
were intending an expedition against Glengarry, and added, "If anything 
had been intended do you think I. would not have told Alastair here and 
my neice." The young men are only half satisfied, but return, although 
grumblingly, to their own dwellings. 

Over the valley, meanwhile, a snowstorm has begun to fall, but does 
not come to its full height till farther on in the morning. The voice of 
the Cona is choked in ice. The great heights behind the Sinai of Scot- 
land are silent, they have no thunders to forewarn, no lightnings to 
avenge. Maclan himself is sleeping the deep sleep of innocence and 
security. The fatigues and miseries of his journey to Fort-William and 
Inverary all forgotten. Is there no wail of ghost, no cry of spirit 
coronach, none of those earnest whispers which have been heard among 
the hills at dead of night, and piercing the darkness with prophecies of 
fate? We know not, and had there been such warning sounds they had 
given their oracle in vain. 

Suddenly, at five precisely, a knock is heard at Maclan's door. It is 
opened immediately, and the old man bustles up to dress "himself, and to 
order refreshments for his visitors. Look at him as he. stands at the 
threshold of his door, clad in nothing but his shirt, and his long grey 
hair, with looks of friendship and a cup of welcome trembling in his old 
hand ; and see his wife has half risen behind him to salute the incomers. 
Without a moment's warning, without a preliminary word, he is shot 
dead and falls back into her arms. She is next assailed, stript naked, the 
gold rings, from her finger?, torn off' by the teeth of the soldiers, and then 
she is struck and trampled on till she is left for dead on the ground, 
and next day actually dies. All the clansmen and servants in the same 
house are massacred, all save one, an old domestic and a sennachie. 


He has been unable to sleep all night with melancholy thoughts, and 
ialling into a deep sleep ere morning is roused by a horrible dream, leaves 
the hamlet, dashes through the door, dirks in vain striking at his shadow, 
and hands trying in vain to seize his plaid, he runs to the hut where the 
two brothers are lying and cries out, like screams of Banshie through the 
night, " Is it time for you to be sleeping while your father is murdered 
on his own hearth ?" 

They arise in haste, make for the mountains, and by their knowledge of 
the dark and devious paths through that horrible wilderness, are enabled to 
escape. From every house and hut there now rise shrieks, shouts, groans, 
and blasphemies, the roar of muskets, the cries of men, women, and children 
blended into one harmony of hell ! The snow is now falling iliink. ;uul 
jfi darkening more the darfe February mbnring. 1.>-'1 ilimii^li tin: ijoniti. 
as if following the lurid eyes of some demoniac being, the soldiers find their 
way from house to house, from one cluster of cottages to another, rush in, 
seize their victims, drag them out, and shoot them dead. In Glenlyon's 
own quarters nine men, including his own landlord, are bound and shot, 
one of them with General Hill's passport in his pocket. A boy of twelve 
clings to Glenlyon's knees asking for mercy and offering to be his servant 
for life, when one Drummond stabbed him with his dirk as he was utter- 
ing a prayer by which even Glenlyon was affected. At Auchnain, a 
hamlet up the glen, Sergeant Barbour and his troops came upon a party 
of nine men sitting round a fire, and slew eight of them. The owner of 
the house in which Barbour had been quartered was not hurt, and 
requested to die in the open air. " For your bread which we have ate," 
said the Sergeant, " I will grant your request." He was taken out 
accordingly, but while the soldiers were presenting their muskets he 
threw his plaid over their faces, broke away and escaped up the valley. 

Thirty-eight persons in all, including one or two women and a little boy, 
were put to death, but, besides, many who are supposed to have perished 
in the drifts. The murderers, after massacring the inmates, set the 
dwellings on fire ; and how ghastly and lurid, especially to those who 
had escaped up the glen, perhaps as far as those mountains called the 
Three Sisters, bound' to-day together by a band of virgin snow, must have 
seemed the effect of the flames flashing against the white of the hills, and 
which they knew were fed and fattened by the blood of their kindred ! 
Many fled half naked into the storm, and through profound wreaths of 
snow, and over savage precipices, reached places of safety. The snow 
now avails more to save than to destroy since on account of it, Hamilton 
with his 400 men was too late to stop the eastern passes through which 
many made their escape. Had he come up in time every soul had 
perished. When he arrived at eleven there was not a Macdonald alive in 
the glen except one old man of eighty, whose worm-like writhings prove 
him still alive 

One stab, one groan, and the tremendous deed 

Of massacre is done, at which the heath 

Which waves o'er all the Highland hills shall blush, 

And torrents wail for ages, ghosts shall shriek, 

Hell tremble through its dayless depths, and Heaven 

Weep, and while weeping grasp its thunderbolts. 

Beware Glenlyon's blood at you they're armed ! 

Beware the curse of God and of Glencoe ! 


The allusion in this last line is to a story told by Stewart of Garth in 
his " History of the Highland Regiments," and on which a "ballad by a 
deceased poet, B. Symmons, an Irishman of great genius, was founded, and 
appeared originally in Blackwood's Magazine. There was a brave officer, 
Colonel Campbell of Glenlyon, the grandson of the ruffian who disgraced 
the Campbell name and human nature at Glencoe. A curse was supposed 
to rest upon the family, and the lands of Glenlyon departed rood by rood 
from his descendants. The grandson, however, was brought up by a 
pious mother, entered the army, and became a prosperous officer. He was 
pursuing his profession in Canada when a romantic circumstance occurred. 
A young man named Ronald Blair, a private of excellent character and 
true courage, was stationed as a sentinel on an outpost. He loved an 
Indian maid who came eve after eve to meet him at his post, steering up 
the St Lawrence her lonely canoe. One night as she left him a storm 
raged on the waters and exposed her and her bark to imminent jeopardy. 
She shrieked out her lover's name, and called for help. 

The waves have swamped her little boat, 

She sinks before his eye, 
And he must keep his dangerous post, 

And leave her there to die. 

One moment's dreadful strife love wins, 

He plunges in the water, 
The moon is out, his strokes are stout, 

The swimmer's arm has caught her, 
And back he bears with gasping heart 

The forest's matchless daughter. 

Meanwhile the picket pass and find his post deserted, and, of course, his 
life forfeited. He is condemned to die, and Colonel Campbell is appointed 
to superintend his execution. The circumstances transpire. A reprieve 
is sent by the commanding officer with secret orders, however, that the 
sentence be pushed on to all but the last, and not till the prisoner's 
prayers are over, and the death fillet bound, is the pardon to be produced. 

The morrow came, the evening sun 

Was sinking red and cold, 
When Ronald Blair a league from camp 

Was led erect and bold, 
To die a soldier's death, while low 

The funeral drum was rolled. 

The musketeers advance to ask the signal when they are to shoot, 
Campbell tells them, " Reserve your fire till I produce this blue handker- 
chief." The prayer is said, the eyes are bound, the doomed soldier 
kneels. There is such a silence that a tear might have been heard falling to 
the ground. Campbell's heart beats high with joy and fear to think that 
by drawing out the pardon in his pocket he is to turn despair into delight. 
He keeps his baud a moment longer on the reprieve, and then draws it 
forth, but with it drew God, the handkerchief; the soldiers fire, Ronald 
Blair falls, and his Indian maid is found clasping his dead body to her 
breast and dying by his side, and the frenzied Colonel exclaims" The 
Curse of Heaven and of Glencoe is here." 

The troops left the glen with a vast booty 900 kine, 200 ponies, and 
many sheep and goats. When they had departed the Macdonalds crept 


from their lurking places, went back to the spot, collected the scorched 
carcasses from among the ruins, and buried them there. It is said that 
the Bard of the Clan took his place on a rock opposite the scene of the 
massacre and poured out a lament over his slaughtered kinsmen and their 
desolate dwellings. The subject had been worthy of an Ossian. The 
scene there is now changed. A house or two only remains 
where smoked hundreds of happy hearths. The thistle and the 
wild myrtle shake their heads in the winds, and utter their low monody 
which mingles with, and is swelled by the voice of the Cona, all seeming 
to mourn over crime, and to pronounce for doom. Yet let our conclusion 
be that of the Judge of the earth Himself when he says vengeance is 
mine, I will repay, saith the Lord, and who mixes mercy with judgment, 
and makes the wrath of man to praise him in pardon as well as by punish- 
ment. Yet this stupendous crime was not to pass wholly unpunished. 
It was a considerable time ere its particulars and aggravations were fully 
known. Conceive such an atrocious massacre perpetrated now ! In less 
than seven days th^re would be a cry of vengeance from the Land's End 
to Caithness. Within a fortnight demands for the blood of the murderers 
would be coming in from every part of the British dominions. In a month 
the ringleaders would have been tried, condemned, and hanged, and even 
Mr Bruce, the late lenient Secretary of State, would not venture to reprieve 
one of them. It was different then. Not a word of it appeared in the 
meagre newspapers of that day. Floating rumours there were, but they 
Avere all, in many particular points, wide of the mark, and it was long ere 
the particulars condensed into the tragic and terrible tale which is 
certainly stranger than fiction. Very little interest was then felt in 
Highlands feuds, and as Macaulay truly says, "To the Londoner of those 
days Appin was what Caffrarra or Borneo is to us. He was not more 
moved by hearing that some Highland thieves had been surprised and 
killed, than we are by hearing that a band of Amakosah cattle-stealers 
had been cut off, or that a barkful of Malay pirates had been sunk." 
Gradually, however, the dark truth came out, and orbed itself into that 
blood-red unity of horror, which has since made the firmest nerves to 
tremble, and the stoutest knees to shake, which has haunted dreams, in- 
spired poetry, created new and ghastly shapes of superstition, and which, 
even yet, as the solitary traveller is plodding his way amidst the shadows 
of an autumn evening, or under the shivering stars of a winter night, can 
drench the skin and curdle the blood. No wonder though the 
actors in the tragedy felt, in their dire experience afterwards, that the in- 
fatuation of crime dissolves the moment it is perpetrated ; that Breadal- 
bane sought the sons of the nmrdored Maclan to gain impunity for 
himself by signing a document declaring him guiltless; that Glencoe 
haunted the couch and clouded the countenance, and shortened the days of 
Glenlyon. Hamilton apparently felt no remorse, and his only regret 
iiat, any had escaped, and that a colossal crime had been truncated by 
ssal blunders. He might have said like the Templar in the 
Talisman, when some one tells him to tremble, "I cannot if 1 would." 
And yet as (lod comes often to men without bell, so there might be 
some secret passage through which, on noiseless footsteps, remorse might 
reach even the sullen chamber of his hardened heart. 


Many lessons might be derived from the whole story, none, after all, 
more obvious and none more useful than the old old story of the desperate 
wickedness of human nature when uiipenetrated by brotherly and 
Christian feeling ; and that he who has sounded the ocean, the grave, the 
deepest and the darkest mountain cavern has yet a deeper deep 
to fathom in the abyss of his own heart ; and that the moral of the 
subject may be yet more briefly condensed in the one grand line which 
Shelley has borrowed from Burke : 

" To fear ourselves and love all human kind." 


PROFESSORSHIP OF CELTIC AT OXFORD. In a congregation held on Tues- 
day, March 7th, a form of statute was promulgated to provide for the 
establishment of a Professor of the Celtic languages and literature in this 
University. The Principal and Fellows of Jesus College have offered the 
sum of 500 annually, to be applied by the University for the foundation of 
the professorship, and a further sum of 100 is to be paid from the Univer- 
sity chest, until an equivalent provision is made from some other source. 
The statute also provides for the constitution of a board for electing the pro- 
fessor. Such professor will be required to reside within the precincts of the 
University for six months at least, in each year, between the tenth day of 
October and the first of July next following. The professor must apply him- 
self to the study of the Celtic languages, literature, and antiquities, and give 
lectures on those subjects, and also give instruction on the same subject to 
members of the University. He is not to hold any other professorship or 
public readership in the University. Matters are looking up for the Celtic 
languages at last ; thanks to the redoubted Professor Blackie. Two Celtic 
Professorships are now practically established. We understand that Charles 
Mackay, LL.D., P.S.A., the well-known poet, and Celtic scholar, is a candi- 
date for the Chair. 

John Noble, bookseller, Inverness, is about to publish those "Prophecies" 
in small book form, collected and edited by Alex. Mackenzie of the Celtic 
Magazine. Some very remarkable instances of second sight by others than 
Coi/imeach Odhar will also be given. Parties forwarding any prophecies in 
their possession, or known in their district, to Mr Noble, or to Mr Mackenzie, 
will be conferring a favour, and will receive due acknowledgment. It is 
desirable to make the work as complete as possible. 



THIS is a question which has for some time engaged the earnest considera- 
tion of many who are interested in the welfare of the Highlands. Much 
has been said and written on the subject ; on the one hand by those who 
wish to see the language of the inhabitants excluded from the schools 
nay more, use every means at their command, by word and deed, to 
extinguish it altogether. They argue that it is better we should only 
possess one living language throughout the whole country, and that, of 
course, the language of the Legislature, the Courts of Justice, and of 
Commerce. No doubt a good deal can be said for this view of the case, 
and we shall have something to say regarding it hereafter. On the other 
hand, we have those who would have the language cultivated, supported, 
and maintained as an active living tongue, spoken by the Highlander 
and used in the common conversation and business of life ; and with 
that object have it taught in our schools just as we teach English. 
Others do not exactly go that length. They wish it taught as a Special 
Subject only, in the same way, on the same principle, and with the same 
encouragement to schoolmasters and pupils that is given in the case of 
Latin and Greek, French and German. And last of all, we have those 
who only go the length of advocating its use for conveying information 
to Gaelic-speaking children regarding what they read in their English 
class-books making it the medium by which the intelligence of the 
pupil is appealed to, and so enable him the more easily and speedily to 
understand and grasp the substance of his lessons in English, a language 
which is to him as much a foreign one as Sanscrit or Hindustani. 

On the present occasion we shall refer more particularly to the latter 
those who wish to give Gaelic the dignity of being taught as a Special 
Subject, and those who only wish it applied as a means with which to reach 
the intelligence of the child while receiving an English education. We 
will admit at the outset, that the primary object of education in the 
Highlands, as well as elsewhere, must be to fit the children for the active 
duties of after life. We will also admit that a Gaelic education, however 
perfect, is not enough for this purpose. If this be so and no writer 
possessed of ordinary common sense can reasonably dispute it the teach- 
ing of Gaelic in our Highland schools can be discussed only as a question 
of secondary importance ; unless we can show that it is through the native 
language of the scholars that we can best appeal to their intelligence ; and, 
that while giving Gaelic its proper place in our system of Higliland educa- 
tion, we can also show that wo are taking a more direct and more natural 
course, in the end, to secure a more intelligent and vastly superior English 

No one approaching the subject with an unprejudiced mind, after giving 
the smallest consideration to the subject, can maintain that a system 
which wholly ignores the only language known to the child when he 
enters school for the first time, can be either a sensible, a reasonable, or a 


successful one. It is doubtful if ever such, a system was adopted any- 
where else, at home or abroad, out of the Highlands of Scotland, and the 
Gaelic-speaking districts of Ireland; but whether, or not, it was ever 
adopted in the past we are unable, at the present day, to discover any 
trace of such an unnatural, senseless, and, we might say without exaggera- 
tion, idiotic system in any other part of the world. The disadvantages 
of such a plan of teaching are so apparent to every one except those 
teachers and their friends, who are totally ignorant of the language of the 
children they are so well paid to teach and who, from the manner in 
which they disregard the necessities of children in Highland districts, 
must, we are afraid, be held to place their own interests and that of their 
elass far above the requirements of the country ; forgetting that the 
Legislature passed the Education Act not so much in the interest of 
teachers as with the view to secure a really substantial education to 
the pupils. We much regret that there should be any necessity to 
point this out, as the interest of both teachers and children should 
be identical; but this clearly cannot be, so long as teachers main- 
tain and advocate a system contrary to reason, and common sense, 
and opposed to every system of education throughout the civilized 
world ; and, indeed, quite the reverse of what they do themselves in the 
case of all other languages taught by them, except that of English to 
Gaelic-speaking children. When the pupil is sufficiently advanced in 
English to justify the teacher in taking up any of the Special Subjects, 
does he, for instance, while teaching Latin or Greek, French or German, 
begin by throwing aside the knowledge of English already acquired by 
his pupil, and commence to teach these foreign languages in the same way 
adopted by him in teaching the child English a language quite as foreign 
to him as Latin or Greek, French or German ? Does he begin with a 
Latin spelling book without any translations in English and teach him 
these languages on the same parrot system by which he managed to get 
him to pronounce and read English, in most cases without ever having 
carried with him the intelligence of his pupils 1 Not he. He knows 
better. If he were foolish enough to teach Latin and other foreign 
languages in such a way, he would soon discover that his labours were 
mainly thrown away, and that he would earn few special grants by the 
time his pupils left him. If it be so very absurd to teach all other 
languages, on such a false and ruinous plan, upon what reasonable grounds 
can the system be maintained in the case of teaching English to a Gaelic- 
speaking child ? We are afraid the only valid reason which can be given 
is, that our teachers are, as a rule, quite ignorant of Gaelic, and unable 
to teach it ; and forsooth ! the interests of the rising Gaelic-speaking 
generation are to be sacrificed to suit the convenience of those paid 
officials who are quite unsuitable, and who should never have been 
appointed to teach Highland children until they had acquired a knowledge 
of the language ; any more than we Avould think of engaging a teacher 
innocent of any knowledge of English to teach foreign languages to a 
child born and bred in the Midland Counties of England. Would any 
one in his senses ever think or dream of such a proposal ? and yet this is 
what some people maintain to be the correct thing to do in the Highlands 
of Scotland. 


Government has already admitted and provided in the Code for testing 
the intelligence of the children through their native tongue ; hut this 
concession is quite useless where the teacher is ignorant of Gaelic, and 
worse than useless where the examining inspector is positively unable to 
tost them as provided for by the Education Department. Would it not 
have been better still had it made provision to reach and rouse the 
intelligence through, and by means of it. The Legislature has also made 
other special provisions for the peculiar situation and educational require 
ments of the Higlilands, and wo feel sure, if it can be shown to be a 
necessity, that the Education Department will also alter the Code so as to 
put teachers who may possibly be kept back a little in the first two 
standards, in consequence of any time that may be lost in teaching Gaelic, 
in a more favourable position, and so enable them to draw the same grant 
as if they devoted their whole time to the exclusive teaching of English. 
We feel sure that no one whose opinion is worthy of the slightest con- 
sideration, will, for a moment, attempt to argue against a system of 
teaching children through the only language which they understand. 

To teach thus, successfully, it would be best to adopt class books and 
grammars in the earlier stages, in both languages, as is done else- 
where, in every case where a foreign language is taught. These might be 
given up, when the pupil arrived at the third standard. After this he 
could pick up all the requisite knowledge of Gaelic with little difficulty ; 
for be it observed, we are at present only advocating the use of Gaelic as 
a medium for imparting a sound and intelligent English education. We 
are happy to know that it is still the practice, particularly in those dis- 
tricts where a snobbish aping of Cockneyism has yet failed to overpower 
and crush out the old devotional spirit of the Gael, for the parents to 
conduct family worship, at least twice a day, by the reading of a Chapter 
and a Psalm out of the Gaelic Bible, while the children, who come to the 
age of discretion, have to follow the reader in their Gaelic Bibles, and 
thus they soon learn to read Gaelic perfectly. We think it, therefore, quite 
unnecessary to teach Gaelic beyond the stage at which it fails to be useful 
in helping to a better and more intelligent understanding of their English 
class-books, except to those who are to become ministers or schoolmasters ; 
when the teacher, in the case of smart boys, should be encouraged to 
take it up and teach it as a Special Subject. 

We fully appreciate, and make allowance for, the difficulty to be over- 
come in providing a special set of Gaelic and English elementary school- 
books specially suited for the Higlilands, and would bo disposed to forego 
the unquestionable advantages derivable from them were we satisfied that 
the teachers were capable and willing to make up to some, extent for the 
defect, by fully explaining the meaning of the elementary English lessons 
to the children through tlieh 1 mother tongue; and then teach Gaelic as a 
Special Subject in the more advanced standards to those who intended to 
continue their education with the view of following any of the leumed 
professions. We had ample and conclusive proof that Gaelic reading '-an 
bo acquired by Gaelic-speaking children in a very short time. Xot long 
ago the Gaelic Society of Inverness oli'ered prizes in the Parish of Gair- 
loch to the best Gaelic scholars; for the best reading, the best spelling, and 


the best translations from Gaelic into English, and from English into 
Gaelic. "We were informed by some of the teachers that before these 
prizes were offered they never taught Gaelic to the children; and even when 
they decided to compete, only taught it privately after ordinary school 
hours. The progress made, as exhibited by the examination was, on such 
short notice, really marvellous. The reading and spelling were almost 
perfect, and the translations were such that we believe translations from 
English to Latin and Greek, or vice versa, of equal faithfulness would 
secure a bursary in some of our Universities. We are writing from actual 
experience, having taken a part in the examination ; and one single fact 
of this kind ought to have more weight in argument than all the theories 
which those who are ignorant of the facts can propound. 

We have repeatedly heard and seen objections made that a Gaelic 
education was calculated to hinder the Gaelic-speaking child in his progress 
in English, and that he could not overcome the difficulty of acquiring a 
correct English pronunciation with the same ease and facility as if first 
taught to read it. We have even heard it stated seriously that a High- 
lander Avho read and wrote Gaelic could never be a good English writer, 
and were challenged to prove the contrary. 

When we first went to school we knew not a single word of English. 
We attended one where it was the rule that no English was to be taught 
until we were able to read the Gaelic Testament, after which we had to 
translate our Bible lesson on alternate mornings from English into Gaelic, 
and from Gaelic into English. There were eight or nine other schools in the 
Parish, in one only the girls' school in which the same rule was applied. 
We had an excellent teacher who taught Latin and Greek (and we think, 
in one instance, Hebrew) to the more advanced pupils. We have made 
enquiries as to the result, and find that from forty to fifty of the boys 
who were taught in our school have raised themselves to good social 
positions throughout England, the South of Scotland, and the Colonies. 
The few who remained at home are known to be the most intelligent and 
best informed in the Parish ; and the great majority of those who have been 
educated on the system now in fashion have forgotten all they have ever 
learned and have taken to the hen-ing fishing, while a miserable existence 
about their parents' crofts is enough to satisfy their highest ambition. 

It is quite unnecessary to prove that those who advanced their social posi- 
tion from home, have acquired a better pronunciation than those who have 
never left it, and who have forgotten all they were ever taught; and in reply 
to the objection that those who are taught Gaelic can never write English 
with the same ease and fluency as those who obtain an exclusively Eng- 
lish education, we assert that those of our Highland countrymen who 
knew, spoke, and wrote Gaelic best are pre-eminent amongst us as the 
best writers of English such, for instance, as "Old" Norman Macleod; the 
late Dr Norman Macleod; Dr Macleod of Morven and his three sons; Sir 
James Mackintosh; Dr Mackintosh Mackay; John Mackenzie of the 
"Beauties of Gaelic Poetry;" Dr Maclauchlan ; Dr Clerk, Kilmallie ; 
Sheriff Meolson; Mr Cameron of Eenton ; James Macpherson, of Ossianic 
fame; Dr Kennedy, Dingwall; Mr Blair, Glasgow; " Nether-Loch aber;" 
D. Mackinnon, Edinburgh ; The Macdonalds of Fort- William and of the 


" Times;" and many others we could mention. We shall be delighted to 
see produced a list of writers from the Highlands, even if possessed of the 
so-called qualification of a total ignorance of the Gaelic language to equal 
these men in English composition. The contention of our opponents is 
really so irrational and absurd as to be unworthy of notice, were it not 
that we see men of position seriously giving expression to such absurdities. 
We have even seen a gentleman who has been elevated since, much to the 
surprise of the profession, to the position of an inspector of schools, stoutly 
maintaining it in large type in the columns of one of our northern news- 
papers. Such arguments amount to this that a real and thorough 
knowledge of his native language, whether it be Gaelic, English, or 
French, is a drawback and a disqualification for acquiring and writing a 
foreign one, and that the greater his ignorance of his native tongue the 
greater the proficiency of a scholar in a foreign one ; while common sense, 
(which is unfortunately, in educational circles, sometimes, and especially 
on this question, very uncommon), and all the experience of the past go to 
prove the very opposite. 

It is pleasant to find the rational view making steady progress 
even among those who were understood for a long time to hold a 
different opinion. Mr Jolly, Her Majesty's Inspector of Schools, who is un- 
fortunately ignorant of the native language of the children whom he examines 
professionally, expressed himself unfavourable to teaching Gaelic in High- 
land schools, before he had time to examine the question for himself; but 
having looked the matter in the face, and given it serious consideration, 
we are gratified to find him stating at the last annual meeting of the 
Gaelic Society that he belonged to the class who desired that Gaelic 
should be used for getting at the intelligence of the children when reading 
English ; and who afterwards wished the Gaelic language and literature 
to be introduced when the children had mastered the mechanical difficul- 
ties of reading, and were able to enter into the meaning and spirit of 
what they read. "Although a Lowlander he had every sympathy with 
those who desired to preserve the Gaelic ; and he held exactly the same 
views on the subject of Gaelic teaching as are held by Professor Blackie, 
the Rev. Alex. Macgregor, and Dr Clerk, Kilmallie." We have a pretty 
good idea as to what the Rev. Mr Macgregor's views on the question are, 
as well as Professor Blackie's, and are therefore quite satisfied with Mr 
Jolly's. The Professor, we are happy to say, lias engaged to give expres- 
sion to his, in a definite form, on an early date in these pages; and we 
feel sure that they Avill satisfy all reasonable men. 

We attach great value to the expression of such an opinion as Mr 
Jolly's, arrived at after mature deliberation and observation of the 
requirements of the Highlands ; from one who is himself a stranger to the 
language, and who would naturally be prejudiced against it ; for wo must 
keep in mind that in expressing such a favourable opinion he was to some 
extent weakening his own position as an Inspector of Schools, unable to 
examine in a language which he honestly ailirmcd, and with a candour 
which deserves acknowledgment, ought to be used, and at a certain stage 
taught in the schools. We are quite satisfied to place this opinion 
against the views of another inspector in the north, whose only reply to 


the advocates of Gaelic in our schools is that such a system would limit 
the sphere from which to choose teachers forgetting, or choosing to 
ignore, that the teachers ought and must accommodate themselves to the 
system which all rational men admit to be the only true and successful 
one, and the only one practised everywhere else out of the High- 
lands. A gentleman who could publicly use such an argument as,- 
" If the language ought to be kept alive by being taught in school, surely 
Edinburgh and Glasgow are the places where this should be done, where 
the children know nothing of it, and not in the Highlands where the 
children already speak it with fluency," is perfectly innocent of the real 
question at issue, and deserves little notice or attention in the controversy. 

"We have .by no means exhausted the subject, but shall, meanwhile, 
content ourselves by laying down the following propositions : (1), That it 
being an acknowledged educational principle that the unknown can only be 
made successfully known through the known ; and as this principle is not 
only acknowledged but practised everywhere else out of the Scottish 
Highlands we must hold it to be the only rational one to adopt there 
also ; unless it can be shown that the Highlander is constructed in- 
tellectually entirely different from the rest of humanity. We must there- 
fore, to be rational, teach the unknown English through the known 
Gaelic : (2), We must adapt the Code to the requirements of the special 
circumstances of the case : (3), Our teachers must keep in mind that 
after all, they are only a part (although a very important part), of the 
system by which Parliament has wisely decided to place education 
within the reach of every child in Scotland, and if it can be shown 
and it is self-evident that teachers who are ignorant of the Gaelic 
language are not competent or suitable to carry out the intentions of 
the Legislature, they must just accommodate themselves to the require- 
ments of their position, and qualify properly to discharge their duties by 
acquiring a sufficient knowledge of Gaelic to enable them to impart 
education according to the only rational system, in use, in all civilised 
communities : (4), To get the full benefit of the concessions already made 
by the Education Department as to the testing of the child's intelligent 
understanding of his English reading by means of his native language, it 
is absolutely necessary that our Inspectors of Schools should have a 
sufficient knowledge of Gaelic to enable them to test the understanding 
of the children as intended by the Department, and now provided for, in 
the Code. 

The great and primary question is, how to impart a sound education 
to the rising generation? The means the teaching staff are only 
important in so far as they serve to bring about the great end and principal 
object of all an education in the true sense of the term.* 
A. M. 

* Since the above was in type Mr Fraser-Mackintosh, M.P., has given notice of his 
intention upon Friday, 31st March, to call attention to the Scottish Education Code of 
18^0 and to move a resolution on the subject of Gaelic teaching in the schools in Gaelio- 






THE first duty which Major Cameron had now (1794) imposed on him by 
his "Letter of Service" was to recommend the officers from the "half-pay 
list" to be associated with him in raising the regiment. In the dis- 
position of these he was to a certain extent under the guidance of his 
own inclination to have as many as he could, of his old American brother- 
officers, with him in the undertaking. After the selection was made, the 
names were submitted to the War Office and approved. Reference to 
the list of officers selected will prove that Major Cameron was not 
unmindful of his brother-officers of the " Royal Emigrant Regiment," 
his choice consisting of five officers of the Clan M'Lean, while two only 
belonged to his own. The reason of the numerical difference will be 
understood to be, in consequence of the above stated restrictions. "When 
the " half-pay list " was exhausted, by distribution among the numerous 
corps being embodied, and Major Cameron was released from the War 
Olli.-c. regulations, the commissions in the regiment were always given to 
his Lochaber relatives, as the army list of subsequent years will testify. 

Although Major Cameron had been, by this time, absent from Lochaber 
a number of years, yet he was not an entire stranger, for he was from time 
to time heard of. He had been advised by his brother that the rage 
and irritation occasioned by the result of the duel had greatly sub- 
sided, if not, indeed, entirely disappeared, and that his arrival in the 
country was not at all likely to revive them. On receipt of this intelli- 
gence Major Cameron, with politic calculation, arranged that he should 
arrive in his native place on one of the first days of November, which 
arrangement would give him the opportunity of meeting the greater part 
of the country people of all classes, this being the week of the winter 
market at Fort- William. The idea also struck him that, as ho was to be 
engaged in " His Majesty's service," the Government might give him, for 
his own and his officers' accommodation, quarters in the garrison. His 
application to the Board of Ordnance, to this effect, proved successful, 
and the building known as " Government House " was placed at his 
disposal. His family, at this time, consisted of three sons, respec- 
tively named Philips, Donald, and Nathaniel ; the first and last after their 
mother's lather, and the other after his own father (he of the '45). 
The eldest two accompanied him to the Highlands, and remained there 
long enough to acquire some acquaintance with the Gaelic language, an 
.1 which they often declared afterwards to have served them 
advantageously in their relationship with the soldiers of the 93d. 

The day at last arrived when Alan, after an absence of twenty-one 
years, was to look again on his native hills, an event which, no doubt, 
gladdened and warmed his Highland heart. It is stated that he timed his 
first appearance to take place on the last day of the market, and he 


observed it punctually. This enabled the people, if so inclined, to meet 
him without interfering with their business affairs. His brother was most 
useful to him in making proper preparations for his reception. Quite a 
multitude went out to meet him and his companions, a mile or so, and 
accorded him a most enthusiastic reception. It has, indeed, been said, that 
the ovation and the escort of that day resembled more that usually awarded 
to an illustrious conqueror than that to a mere field-officer of the British 
army. Alan gave instructions to make that and subsequent days a carnival 
of hospitality feasting and rejoicing without limit. After a reasonable 
time, however, festivities must terminate, and business commence. A 
writer of ripe experience, on Highland subjects, adverts to the anxious state 
of public feeling at this time* "In 1793, and the succeeding years, 
the whole strength and resources of tho United Kingdom were called into 
action. In the northern corner ;i full proportion was secured. A people 
struggling against the disadvantages of a boisterous climate and barren 
soil, could not be expected to contribute money. But the personal services 
of young and active men were ready when required for the defence of the 
liberty and independence of their country." Producing so many defenders 
of the State, as these glens have done, they ought to have been saved 
from a system which has changed the character of, if not altogether 
extirpated, their hardy inhabitants. 


THE business of "raising" the regiment was now (1793-94) to commence 
in real earnest, and as it was the Major's desire that the complement 
should be made up of as many as he could induce to join from his own 
and the adjacent districts, his officers and himself visited every part 
round about, and with so much success that, between Lochaber, Appin, 
Mull, and Morven, 750 men were collected a,t Fort- William, within a 
period of less than two months ; at any rate the official accounts record 
that number to have been inspected and approved by General Leslie on 
the 3d January (1794).t General Stewart states, "in the instance of the 
embodiment of the 79th no bounty was allowed by Government, and the 
men were therefore recruited at the solo expense of Mr Cameron and his 
officers ; nevertheless the measure of the success will be understood by the 
early date of their inspection at Stirling, where they received the denomina- 
tion of the 79th Cameron Highlanders." The Major was now desirous to 
repair as quickly as possible to the place appointed for inspection, that he 
might get his corps numbered, and with that determination, ordered 
every man to be in readiness for the journey southwards. Great 
was the excitement in the little village adjoining the garrison of Fort- 
William, on that winter's morning, when Cameron and his followers 
collected on its parade-ground, to have the roll called by " old Archie 
Maclean" (their first Adjutant), preparatory to bidding farewell to 
Lochaber a last farewell by the greater part of them. The nearest 
and dearest must part, and such was the case with the Lochabermen 
and their friends, now that "they promised to help King George." 
With Alan at their head, this devoted band filed off in well regulated order, 

* General Stewart's Sketches, vol. II., pp. 245-6. 

t Historical Record of the 79th Regiment by Captain Robert Jamieson, Edinburgh, 1863, 


marching with steady step through the village, the pipers leading, playing 
the well-known march " Gabhaidh sinn an rathad mor " (We'll keep 
the liigh road), while large numbers of the country people convoyed them 
on their route a considerable distance, reluctant to give the final farewell ; 
deferring it till they were reminded that they had noAv a long way to go 
back. Their affection probably laid them under a spell that " farewell 
was such sweet sorrow, they could not say farewell till to-morrow." A 
string of horses preceded them, to different stages, with their creels well 
provided with creature comforts desirable for their long journey, along 
indifferent paths, and over bleak mountains, to Stirling. At that season 
of the year, the weather was very severe, and the absence of any habitations 
on the way did not admit of any halting ; therefore it was decided to con- 
tinue their onward course without interruption, except the short intervals 
necessary for refreshments. This decision enabled them to reach the 
rendezvous at noon of the third day, when after a day or two's rest, irill- 
ing was resumed without intermission, in consequence of which persistency, 
the corps were in a fair state of order by the time the inspecting officer 
arrived. " The Cameron Highlanders " underwent this ordeal of military 
and medical inspection to the General's entire satisfaction, and he duly 
reported the result to the War Office, and, being the first to be so reported 
the corps received the first and subsequent number of 79th (the 78th, 
Mackenzie's Eoss-shire regiment, had been completed in. the month of 
March of the previous year). Meanwhile the exigencies of the service 
becoming pressing, the " Office " was induced to dispatch urgent orders to 
Cameron to augment the regiment with the necessary 250 men to raise it 
to a total strength of 1000 rank and file. In obedience to this summons, 
he, with others of his officers, lost no time in returning to the districts of 
the Highlands from whence they came. If further proof were needed of 
the popularity of Cameron, the fact that he collected the 250 recruits 
wanted, and reported them at the same place (Stirling), in the short space 
of five and twenty days, will be sufficiently convincing. When the 1000 
men were completed on the 30th January (1794), Alan was advanci d to 
the Lieutenant-Colonelcy of the regiment !* This marvellous rapidity may 
be contrasted with the fact, that when Mr Cameron of t'assilVm \v:i-- 
ottered a -company in the corps being raised by the Marquis of Huntly in 
the following month of February, he was obliged to have recourse to the 
assistance of his brother-in-law, Macneil of Barra, to complete the 
number of 100 men. He could only secure nineteen men in his own 
district of Lochaber, notwithstanding that he was aided by the personal 
influence of his cousin Lochiel. Alan Cameron did not seek, nor did 
he receive the slightest favour from the Chief of his clan, for reasons 
which may be subsequently referred to.t 


THE colours for the 79th had been prepared, and immediately on its being 
registered they were presented (1794), after which the regiment received the 
route for Ireland. There they remained till the following June, where their 

* Captain Jamieson's Historical Record, Blackwood, Edinburgh, 1863. 
t The Kev. Mr Clerk's Memoir of Colonel Cameron of Faasifern, p. 109. 


uniform reached them, which, being the Highland dress, was similar to 
that of the other Highland corps, except in the matter of " facings," which 
were green. Although the tartan of the Clan Cameron is one of the 
handsomest patterns ; the ground and prevailing colour being red, it was 
thought unsuitable for wear with the scarlet jacket ; but that was not a 
sufficient reason for its non-adoption as the tartan of the " Cameron 
Highlanders," inasmuch as the tartan worn (the Stewart) by the 72d is 
of still bri^lilur colour than the Cameron. Neither of these was the 
real reason which caused the clan tartan's non-adoption by the 79th.* 
Alan choose rather to have a tartan of his own (or rather his mother's) 
design. ' That pattern is so well known as to need no description. The 
first supply was provided by Messrs Holms of Paisley (now of Greenhead, 
Glasgow), and designated the " Cameron Earrachd," as distinguished from 
that of the Cameron proper. It is the pattern chosen by the Highland 
company of the Liverpool Eifle Corps, and by the 2d Lochaber Company, 
of which Lochiel was captain.t 

The Cameron Regiment had scarcely completed its equipment, when it 
was ordered to embark for Flanders to reinforce the British and Austrian 
armies under the command-of the Duke of York, against the French. 
They were joined in this expedition by their countrymen of the 42d and 
the 78th. Their arrival proved to be of the utmost consequence, inasmuch 
as that by their support, in reserve, they helped, by a victory over Picheqru 
to retrieve a disaster experienced by the Duke shortly before that. 
This engagement lasted from an early hour till the afternoon, and its 
decision was weighing in the balance, when the Duke charged with the 
British troops into the centre of the French army, bayonet in hand, and thus, 
brought hostilities to an end for the day. This success, however, was of 
small advantage, as the allies were subsequently compelled to retreat 
before the overwhelming forces of the French, and, retiring towards West- 
phalia, endured the most dreadful hardship and suffering, both from its 
inhospitable inhabitants, and the rigour of its climate (the winter and 
spring of 1794-5), the elements of which proved more fatal to the British 
army than the fire of the enemy. The Camerons lost 200 men. The 
contingent of the British army withdrew from the Continent after this 
fruitless campaign, embarking in April at Bremen. The 79th was ordered 
for quarters to the Isle of Wight, where it remained till the month of 
July, when it received the route for India, and Colonel Cameron was 
ordered to recruit the regiment to the extent of its losses in Flanders. 

( I'o be Continued.) 

* Mr Cameron of Lochiel, and Mr Cameron of Earrachd (Alan's father), had been, 
or were, at differences about the ownership of part of the property, when it was 
alk-ged that the latter was hardly used in the matter, by the former and his trustees, of 
whom Cameron of Fassifei u was the most active. This misunderstanding led to a cool- 
ness between the families-. 

t It was returned to the Lord -Lieu tenant by this company under the designation of 
" Cameron Lochiel." The captain's attention was drawn to the misnomer, who disclaimed 
any knowledge of the erior. It bas transpired since to have been the act of an officer of 
the corps, now deceased, who must have committed this paltry piece of piracy, either 
from ignorance or subserviency. 



THE Gael, their language, their songs, and their melodies, 
live or die together. If the one sinks they shall all sink. If 
the one rises they shall all rise. If the one dies they shall die together, 
and shall all he buried in the same grave. Is it possible that a people, 
with such a language, such songs, and such delicious melodies, shall vanish 
and disappear from the earth, and their place become occupied by others? 
It cannot happen, and I candidly assert for myself that, were the Avhole of 
the Ereadalbane Estate mine, I Avould willingly part with it for the sake 
of being able to master the songs and the melodies of my Highland 
countrymen. I have reason to be thankful for the circumstances in 
which I was placed in the days of my youth. I had eight brothers and 
a sister. My father had a fine ear for music, and an excellent voice, 
and frequently gratified our young ears, during the long winter evenings, 
by playing on the Jew's harp and singing the words connected with the 
different Highland airs. There was also a man in our immediate neighbour- 
hood who was frequently in the house, who played on the violin, and who 
was one of the best players of our native airs I ever listened to. The 
consequence was that as I grew up I was very fond of singing, and to 
this moment of my life I do not think that it had any bad effect upon 
me ; and certainly my fondness for Gaelic songs was the first thing that 
led me to read the Gaelic language. From fifteen to the age of twenty 
I herded my father's sheep among the Grampians. The following is a 
true description of my state then : 

'Nuair bha e 'na bhalach 
Gu sunndach, 'a Ian aighear, 
'S mac-talla 'ga aithris 
A cantuinn nan oran, 
Toirt air na cruaidh chreagan, 
Le 'n teangannan sgeigeil, 
Gu. fileant 'ga fhreagradh, 
Gu ceileireach ceolmhor. 

A laddie so merry 
'Mong green grass and heather, 
The voice of the echo 
Rehearsing his story : 
The mountains so rocky 
To mimic and mock him, 
Becoming all vocal 
Like songsters so joyful. 

About the age of twenty a change came over me, when I forsook the 
songs, but not their melodies, and had recoxirse to Buchanan's, M'Gregor's, 
and Grant's hymns as a source of gratification. I was, in a measure, prepared 
to enjoy them, as I found several of the melodies I used to sing, in the 
hymns. M'Gregor was my great favourite. He was every inch a man, a Gael, 
a scholar, a po^t, a Christian, and a great divine. I regret that his hymns 
are not more extensively known. Forty-two years ago I composed several 
hymns six or seven years afterwards a few more but during the last ten 
years, I suppose, nearly fifty. I have done as much as I could to regenerate 
the songs of my country. My predecessors carefully avoided cheerful and 
lively airs, especially those with a chorus, but I find these generally, 
when the subject is applicable to them, the most powerful and the most 
appropriate for use in connection with the preaching of the gospel. Last 
summer I sang one of them in a Free Church, on a Sabbath evening, to 



the Gaelic part of the congregation. As I was descending from the 
pulpit, the Gaelic precentor, and a deacon, whispered in my ears, " I ha i 
sin fad air thoiseach air Ictoidliean Shanci." (That is far before Sankey's 

v So far as I know, singing Gaelic songs has had no evil effect upon our 
countrymen. Indeed, singing is one of the prettiest, and one of the most 
harmless things connected with human nature, even in its degenerate 
state. A man who can sing a Gaelic song well is properly considered a 
favourite. It- is felt that he spreads kindness, and infuses joy and happi- 
ness in the social circle the language and the sweet melody of the piece 
will banish all melancholy and bitter feelings from the mind. A man 
influenced by a wicked malicious disposition is certainly not disposed to 
sing. The practice they have of fulling or shrinking cloth in the West 
Highlands has had a great tendency to keep up the native melodies. 
Five, six, or seven females are seated in a circle facing one another. The 
cloth having been steeped, is folded in a circle. Each holds it in both 
hands, while they raise it as high as the breast, and then bring it down 
with a thump on the board. In this way it goes gradually round from the 
one to the other. A person standing outside would only hear one thump. 
The chosen leader commences the song, all unite, and by raising and 
lowering their hands they beat time to the tune. This generally attracts 
a crowd of listeners. I have seldom listened to finer singing. 

Lachlan M'Lean, the author of "Adam and Eve," and one of the greatest 
enthusiasts for the language, the songs, and the music of the Gael, that 
ever lived, was one day on board a steamer going from Tobermory to 
Oban. A number of Skye females were on board. He placed them 
seated in a circle on deck, and they commenced singing, with their 
handkerchiefs in their hands, to the great delight of all on board, with 
the exception of an elderly austere professor of religion, who frowned 
upon them and silenced them. If such be the effect of real religion, I 
have yet to learn it. I have no doubt the same man, if he could, would 
prevent the larks from singing ; and as well attempt to do the one as the 
other. I am certain that he would rather have his ears stuffed with 
cotton than listen to Piobaireaclid Dho'il Duibli played on the bagpipes. 

Robert Burns has been greatly vilified by a certain class of preachers. 
He and his songs have been held forth as a great curse to his country- 
men ; but when these Rev. Divines and their hot, but mistaken, zeal is 
forgotten, Robert Burns will shine forth, and in the long run will be 
found to be a greater blessing to his country than his accusers. For 
certainly no man ever did more to keep up the native, language and the 
melodies of the Lowland Scotch than he has done. The same is 
equally true respecting our Highland bards. Taing dhuit a Dhonnachaidh 
Bhain, agus do d" chomh-Bhaird airson nan oranan gasda, agus nam 
fuinn bhinn a dh'fhag sibh againn. I am certain that the Scotch must 
return to the melodies in their native language. Sankey's melodies may 
do for a short time, but will never find a lasting lodgment in the Scottish 
heart like their own delicious melodies. There is as inseperable a connec- 
tion between their melodies and their native language, as there is between 
our Highland melodies and our native Gaelic. The Gaelic may easily 
take up their melodies, but the English never. 


Those tunes that are used in public worship have no melody to my 
soid like our native airs, and it is utterly impossible for me to feel other- 
wise. This assertion will find a testimony in the bosoms of men, although 
their prejudices may be opposed to it. Where is the man that would com- 
pose a song in praise of his fellow-creature, that would attempt to sing it to 
a psalm tune ? Should he do so, all men would look upon him as a block- 
head. And what is the great difference between praising a fellow-creature 
and praising the Kedeemer? I can conceive none, except that the latter 
deserves a sweeter, and, if possible, a more delicious melody. I think it 
was Eowland Hill who wisely said that " he could not see why the devil 
should have all the finest tunes," and I quite agree with him. 

It is also a fact, although I understand English as well as Gaelic, that 
it has not the same effect upon me in singing it. Although the English 
were sung with the greatest art, and in the best possible style, it would 
neither warm our hearts nor melt our souls like singing in Gaelic. I feel 
that the great " mistress of art " has a tendency to puff me up, whereas I 
have no such feelings in my Gaelic. Perhaps one-third of the songs of 
the Gael are love songs, and the delicacy of feeling which is manifest 
in most of them is extraordinary. They will not offend the most refined 
ear ; so that we have reason to be proud of our race in that respect. Our 
songs may be divided into two classes the cheerful and plaintive. In 
the former we have M'Lachlan's " Air jatll-ir-inn, ill-ir-inn, uill-er-inn o." 
M'Intyre's song to his spouse, " Mhairi bhan og" and " Ho mo Mhairi 
Laghach " translated by Professor Blackie in the first number of the 
Ccltii'. These are instances of lyric poetry as beautiful as ever saw the 
light, and nJelodies as sweet as can be listened to. In the other may 
be placed "Fliir a bltata 's na ho ro eile," which was lately sung in In- 
veraray Castle in the presence of Her Majesty. Another is : 

A Mhalaidh bhoidheach, 
A Mhalaidh ghaolach, 
A Mhalaidh bhoidheach, 
Gur mor mo ghaol duit, 
A Mhalaidh bhoidheach, 
S tu leon 's a cblaoidh mi, 
'S a dh'fhag mi bronach 
GUH doigb air d'fhaotainn. 

What a delicious piece ! how full of sweet melody ! Can the English 
language produce its equal? Poor fellow, he was sincere. The deer 
would be SI-CD on wings in the air, fish on tops of mountains high, and 
h/rtc/,- siimv resting on the tree branches, before his love to her would 
undergo any change. 

Perhaps one-fourth of our songs arc Kle-ies to the departed; and 
the melodies to which these are sung are as plaintive and melting 
us can be listened to. I place at the head of this class the " Massacre of 
Glencoe," and Maclachlan'.s Elegy, to the same air, in memory of Professor 
r.euttie of Aberdeen. 1 said in my "Address to Highlanders" that the 
Fori-William people might, on the top of Ben Nevis, defy the English 
and broad Scotch to produce its equal : 


" Ghaoil, a ghaoil, de na fearaibh, 
'S fuar an nochd air an darach do chre, 
'S fuar an nochd air a bhord thu, 
Fhiuran uasail bu stold ann a'd bheus, 
'N cridhe tirinneach soilleir, 
D'am bu spideal duais foille na sannt, 
Nochd gun phlpsg air an deile 
Sin mo dhosguinn nach breugach mo rann. 

It is utterly impossible to give a proper expression of that piece in any 
other language. 

Lachlan M'Lean, already referred to, composed an elegy, to a daughter 
of the Laird of Coll, who died in London and was "buried there, to the 
same air : 

Och ! nach deach do thoirt dachaidh 

O mhearg nigheana Shassuinn 's an uair, 

Is do charadh le morachd, 

Ann an cois na Traigh mhor mar bu dual ; 

Fo dbidean bhallachan arda 

Far am bheil do chaomh mhathair 'na suain, 

'S far am feudadh do chairdean, 

Dol gach feasgair chuir failte air t'uaigh. 

I entered his shop soon after this appeared in the Teachdaire Gaelach, 
and sung him some verses of it. He could scarcely believe that it was his 
own composition. He seemed in a reverie, his eyes speaking inexpressibles. 

" Gaoir nam San Muileach " (The wail of the Mull women) is 
another extraordinary piece. I am sorry that I could not get hold of it. 
M'Gregor also has three hymns suited to this beautiful air. There is a 
good deal of monotony in singing the few first lines, but it reaches a 
grand climax of expression at the sixth. The last line is repeated twice. 
When two or three sing it together, and' the whole join in chorus at the 
sixth line, I have seldom heard singing like it. 

Dr M 'Donald composed an elegy, to the Eev. Mr Eobertson, with a 
very plaintive air the air of a song occasioned by the great loss at Caig 

Ochan nan och, is och mo leon, 
Tha fear mo ruin an diugh fo'n fhoid, 
Tha fear mo ruin an diugh fo'n fhoid, 
'S cha teid air ceol no aighear learn. 

Many of the songs of the Gael might be called patriotic songs, and 
they make us feel proud that we are Gaels. Their daring feats in the 
field of strife against the enemies of our country, as at Bannockburn, 
Waterloo, Alma, &c., are celebrated in song. Their quarrels, amongst 
themselves, is the only thing that makes us feel ashamed of them. Several 
of their songs raise us in our own estimation, with good cause, above 
our neighbours the Lowlanders, the English, and the French. The 
songs of the Gael embrace every variety their language, mountains, 
corries, straths, glens, rivers, streams, horses, dogs, cows, deer, sheep, goats, 
guns, field labour, herding, boats, sailing, fishing, hunting, weddings 
some of them as funny as they can be, and some the most sarcastic that 
was ever written. There is always something sweet and pretty about 
them. The artless simplicity of the language, with its extraordinary 
power of expression, gives them an agreeable access to the mind, which 
no other language can ever give. 


The power these melodies have over the Gael is really extraordinary. 
I was told by a piper, who was at the Battle of Alma, that when on the 
eve of closing with the Russians, he, contrary to orders, played " Sud mar 
cliaidh 'n cal a' dholaidh, aig na Bodaich Gliallda" which had a most 
powerful effect upon the men, on which account alone he was pardoned. 
I saw a man who heaid a piper playing " ltdloch goi-m" in the East Indies, 
and it made him weep like a child. About two years ago a young man, a 
native of Oban, was out far in the country, in Australia, and having 
entered a hotel, he saw a man who had the appearance of being a High- 
lander, in the sitting-room. He (of Oban) was in a room on the opposite 
side of the passage, and thought to himself " If he is a Gael I'll soon 
find out," and leaving the door partially open, that he might see him 
without being seen, he commenced playing, on the flute, the most plaintive 
Highland airs. No sooner did he begin than the other began to move 
bis body backward and forward. At last he bent down his body, cover- 
ing both his eyes with the palms of his hands, and began to sob out 
" Och ! och mise ; ocli ! och mise. He (my informant) then played some 
marching airs, and instantly the other raised his head and began to 
beat time with both feet. At last he played some dancing airs, when 
one foot only was engaged in beating time. He then raised a hearty 
laugh and closed the door with a bang. The man rushed forward, but 
inding the door closed he settled down a little. The door was opened, 
and what a meeting of friends ! what union of hearts ! what kindness of 
feeling ! what joy ! What .was the cause of all these 1 What but the 
melodies of the Gael. 

Now, I am certain that were I to listen to the native melodies of 
my country in distant parts of the world, I would also Aveep. But there 
& nothing that ever I listened to that would affect me so much 
as " Crodh Chaileait." Many a cow has been milked to that air, and 
many a fond mother soothed her child to rest with it, and I am sure it 
would be a greater accomplishment for young ladies to be able to sing 
it properly than any German or Italian air they could play on the piano : 

Bha crodb aig Mac Cbailean, 
Bheireadh baiime dhomh fhein, 
Eadar Bcaltuinn is Samhainn, 
Gun ghamhuinn, gun laogh, 
Crodh ciar, crodh ballach, 
Crodb Alustair Mbaoil, 
Crodb lionadh nan gogan, 
. 'S crodb thogail nan laogh. 


the ditties they have been accustomed to hear sung in their youth have 
had a far greater effect upon them. Could these be all collected they 
would form a rare collection. How often has " Gille Callum" been sung 

Gheibh thu bean air da pbeghinn, 

Rogh is tagh air bonn-a-se, 

Bug an luchag uan boirionn, 

'S thug i dhachaidh cual chonnaidh. 

When one begins to tell what is not true, it is better to tell falsehoods 
which no one can believe. Now I am certain that children at the age of 
four would not believe " Gille Callum's " lies, and would understand at 
once that they were all for fun, and still it would have the effect of setting 
them a-thinking, perhaps more than had it been sober truth. 
The following I have frequently heard : 

H'uid, uid eachan, 

C' ait am bi sinn nochdan, 

Ann am baile Pheairtean, 

Ciod a gheibh sinn ann, 

Aran agus leann, 

'S crap an cul a chirm, 

'S chead dachaidh. 

Huid, uid is used in Perthshire for making horses run. The boy is set 
astride on a man's knee, which is kept in motion like a trotting horse. 
Stretching both his hands, the boy, in imagination, is trotting to Perth, 
where he expects bread and ale ; and as a finish to the whole, a knock on 
the back of the head, and leave to go home. Many a hearty laugh have I 
seen boys enjoy when they got the knock on the head. Another is 
seizing a child's hand, and beginning at the thumb giving the following 
names " Ordag, colgag, meur fad, Mac Nab, rag mhearlach nan caorach 
's nan gobhar, cuir gad ris, cuir gad ris." Reaching the small finger, the 
thief is seized and severely scourged with the rod, and a roar of 
laughter is raised by the youngsters. Placing a child between the knees 
and slowly placing the one foot before another with the following words, is 

Cia mar tbeid na coin do n' mhuileann 

Mar sud, 's mar so, 

'S bheir iad ullag as a pkoc so, 

'S ullag as a phoc sin, 

And then moving them quicker 

'S thig iad dachaidh air an trot, 
Trit, trot, dhachaidh. 

Ullag means the quantity of meal raised by the three fingers. What a 
glee of hilarity is raised when the quick motion commences ? 

The following is a very imaginative piece, descriptive of a flighty in- 
dividual who proposes to do more than he can accomplish : 

Cheann a'n Tobermhuire 
'S a chollainn 's a Chrianan, 
Gas a'm Boad hoi-e, 
'S a chas eil a'n Grianaig 

Head in Tobermory, 

Body in Crianan, 

Foot in Boad (Bute) hoi-e, 

Other foot in Grianaig (Greenock). 

It is a most melancholy fact, that at present there is a combined and 



a determined effort put forth to banish the native language, and the 
nativi- melodies of the Gael entirely from the country, and to bring the 
winkle population under the sway of the artificial language taught in our 
schools, and of its artificial melodies. The foreigner represents our 
language as low and vulgar, quite destitute of the sterling qualities 
peculiar to his own ; and consequently not deserving either to be held 
fast, or to be worthy of attentive study. And in order that he may be the 
more successful in his effort, he pretends to be our greatest, our only friend ; 
heartily disposed to make us learned, wealthy and honourable, yes, and, of 
course, pious too. I say to him at once, without any ceremony, keep 
back, sir, give over your fallacious, your blustering bombast, we know the 
hollowness of your pretensions. The Gael has a language and melodies 
already, superior to any that you can give him, and would you attempt 
to rob him of his birthright and inheritance, which is dear to him as his 
heart's blood 1 Every true friend of the Gael would certainly give him a 
good English education ; but instead of doing away with his own language 
ami melodies, it would be such an English education as would ground 
him more than ever in a knowledge of his own. Is it not an 
acknowledged fact that, there is nothing that grounds students more 
thoroughly in a knoAvledge of a language than to translate it from 
his own. This mode of teaching is perhaps more troublesome to school- 
masters at first, but when once fairly tried and put in practice, it will, 
without doubt, be the most agreeable and the most successful part of their 
work, and would not have such a deadening effect, either upon their own 
minds, or upon those of their scholars. 




O autumn ! to me thou art dearest, 
Thou bringest deep thoughts to me now, 

For the leaves in the forest are searest, 
And the foliage falls from each bough. 

And then as the day was declining, 
While nature was wont to repose, 

A sage on his harp was reclining 
Who sang of Lochaber's bravoes. 

He played and he sang of their glory, 
Their deeds which the ages admire; 

Then softly, then wildly, their story 
He told on the strings of his lyre. 

While praise on the heroes he lavished, 
And lauded thei^riumphs again, 

A maid came a-list'ning, enravished 
Enrapt by his charming refrain. 

O ! bright were the beams of her smiling, 
I sigh for the peace on her brow. 

Not a trace on her features of guiling, 
My heart singeth songs to her now. 

Inspired by the rapturous measure, 
This fair one skipt over the lea : 

One morning I sought the young treasure, 
Now dear as my soul she's to me. 


Member of the Gaelic Society of, London. 





" Oh ! nach lie 'n ceatharnach am fleasgach, bu mhor am beud cuir. as da 
gun chothrom na Feinne" (Ah. ! what a valiant youth, it would be a pity 
to extinguish him without according him Fingalian fair play), shouted 
several voices at once. " Did you ever hear the .story about Glengarry 
and his old castle, when he was buried alive with Macranuil under the 
foundation ? " asked Alastair Mac Eacliain Duibli. " I heard it, when, 
last year in Strathglass, and you shall hear it." At this stage "Norman" 
exhibited signs of his intention to go away for the night, when several 
members of the circle, backed up by the old bard, requested the favour 
of one more story ere he departed. Norman would rather hear Alastair 's 
story of Glengarry, and would wait for it. " No, no," exclaimed Alastair, 
" you can have my story any time ; let us have one more from Norman 
before he leaves, and I will give mine afterwards, for he may never come 
back to see us again." " That I will," says Norman, " as often as I can, 
for I have just found out a source of enjoyment and amusement which I 
did not at all expect to meet with in this remote corner of the country. 
However, to please you, I'll give you a story about Castle Urquhart ; and 
afterwards recite a poem of my own composition on the Castle, and on the 
elopement of Barbara, daughter of Grant of Grant, with Colin Mackenzie, 
High-Chief of Kintail." 

Glen Urquhart, where Castle Urquhart is situated, is one of the most 
beautiful of our Highland valleys, distant from Inverness some fourteen 
miles, and expands first from the waters of Loch Ness into a semicircular 
plain, divided into fields by hedgerows, and having its hillsides beauti- 
fully diversified by woods and cultivated grounds. The valley then runs 
upwards some ten miles to Corriemonie, through a tract of haughland 
beautifully cultivated, and leading to a rocky pass or gorge half-way up- 
wards or .thereabouts, which, on turning an inland valley, as it were, is 
attained, almost circular, and containing Loch Meiglie, a beautiful small 
sheet of water, the edges of which are studded with houses, green lawns, 
and cultivated grounds. Over a heathy ridge, beyond these two or three 
miles, we reach the flat of Corriemonie, adorned by some very large ash 
and beech trees, where the land is highly cultivated, at an elevation of 
eight or nine hundred feet above, and twenty-five miles distant from, the 
sea. At the base of Mealfourvonie, a small circular lake of a few acres in 
extent exists, which was once thought to be unfathomable, and to have a 
subterranean communication with Loch Ness. From it flows the Aultsigh 


Burn; a streamlet which, tumbling down a rocky channel, at the 
base of one of the grandest frontlets of rock iu the Highlands, nearly 
fifteen hundred feet high, empties itself into Loch Ness within three 
miles of Glemnoriston. Besides the magnificent and rocky scenery to 
be seen in the course of this burn, it displays, at its- mouth, an unusually 
beautiful waterfall, and another about two miles further up, shaded with 
foliage of the richest colour. A tributary of the Coiltie, called the 
Dhivach, amid beautiful and dense groves of birch, displays a waterfall, as 
high and picturesque as that of Foyers; and near the source of the Enneric 
river, which flows from Corriemonie into the still waters of Loch. Meigle, 
another small, though highly picturesque cascade, called the Fall of Moral, 
is to be seen. Near it, is a cave large enough to receive sixteen or twenty 
persons. Several of the principal gentlemen of the dibtrict concealed 
themselves here from the Hanoverian troops during the troubles of the '45. 

On the southern promontory of Urquhart Bay are the ruins of the 
Castle, rising over the dark waters of the Loch, which, off this point, is 
125 fathoms in depth. The castle has the appearance of having been a 
strong and extensive building. The mouldings of the corbel table which 
remain are as sharp as on the day they were first carved, and indicate a 
date about the beginning of the 1 4th century. The antiquary will notice 
a peculiar arrangement in the windows for pouring molten lead on the 
heads of the assailants. It overhangs the lake, and is built' on a detached 
rock separated from the adjoining hill, at the base of Avhich it lies, by a 
moat of about twenty-five feet deep and sixteen feet broad. The rock is 
crowned by the remains of a high wall or curtain, surrounding the build- 
ing, the principal. part of which, a strong square keep of three storeys, is 
still standing, surmounted by four square hanging turrets. This outward 
wall encloses a spacious yard, and is in some places terraced. In the 
angles were platforms for the convenience of the defending soldiery. The 
entrance was by a spacious gateway between two guard rooms, projected 
beyond the general line of the walls, and was guarded by more than one 
massive portal and a huge portcullis to make security doubly sure. These 
entrance towers were much in the style of architecture peculiar to the 
Castles of Edward I. of England, and in front of then^lay the drawbridge 
across the outer moat. The whole works were extensive and strong, and 
the masonry was better finished than is common in the generality of 
Scottish strongholds. 

The first siege Urquhart "Castle is known to have sustained was in 
the year 1303, when it was taken by the officers of Edward I. who were 
sent forward by him, to subdue the country, from Kildrummie near Nairn, 
beyond Avhicli he did not advance in person, and of all the strongholds in 
the north, it was that winch longest resisted his arms. 

Alexander de Bois, the brave governor and his garrison, were put to 
tlic sword. Sir Kobert Lauder of Quarrelwood in Morayshire, governor 
of the Castle in A.D. 1334, maintained it against the Riliol faction. His 
daughter, marrying the Earl of Strathglass, the ofi'spring of their union, 
Sir Itobert Chisholm of that Ilk, became Laird of Quarrelwoud in ri-lit 
of his grandfather. After this period it, is known to have liccn a Koyal 
fort or garrison but it is very likely it was so also at the commencement 


of the 14th century, and existed, as such, in the reigns of the Alexanders 
and other Scottish sovereigns, and formed one of a chain of fortresses 
erected for national'defence, and for insuring internal peace. In 1359 the 
barony and the Castle of Urquhart were disponed by David II. to William, 
Earl of Sutherland, and his son John. In 1509 it fell into the hands of 
the chief of the Clan Grant, and in that family's possession it has continued 
to this day. 

How it came into the possession of John Grant the 10th Laird, sur- 
named the " Bard," is not known ; but it was not won by the broadsAvnrd, 
from Huntly, the Lieutenant-General of the king. It has been the boast 
of the chiefs of the Clan Grant that no dark deeds of rapine and blood 
have been transmitted to posterity by any of their race. Their history is 
unique among Highland clans, in that, down to the period of the disarm- 
ing after Culloden, the broadswords of the Grants were as spotless as a 
lady's bodkin. True it is, there were some dark deeds enacted between 
the Grants of Carron and Ballindalloch ; and at the battles of Cromdale 
and Culloden, the Grants of Glenmoriston were present, but far other- 
wise was the boast of the Grants of Strathspey a gifted ancestry seemed 
to transmit hereditary virtues, and each successive scion of the house 
seemed to emulate the peaceful habits of his predecessor. .That this 
amiable life did not conceal craven hearts is abundantly evident from the 
history of our country. There is a continual record of gallant deeds and 
noble bearing in their records down to the present time, and there are few 
families whose names, like the Napiers and the Grants, are more conspi- 
cuous in our military annals. But their rise into a powerful clan was due 
to the more peaceful gifts, of " fortunate alliances," and " Royal bounties." 

It is much to be regretted that so little has been transmitted to 
posterity of the history of this splendid ruin of Castle Urquhart. 

The probability is that it is connected with many a dark event over 
which the turbulence of the intervening period and the obscurity of its 
situation have cast a shade of oblivion. 

The most prominent part of the present mass, the fine square tower 
of the north-eastern extremity of the building is supposed to have 
been the keep, and is still pretty entire. From this point, the view is 
superb. It commands Loch Ness from one end to the other, and is an 
object on which the traveller fixes an admiring gaze as the steamer paddles 
her merry way along the mountain-shadowed water. On a calm day the 
dashing echo of the Fall of Foyers bursts fitfully across the Loch, and 
when the meridian sun lights up the green earth after a midsummer 
shower, a glimpse of the distant cataract may be occasionally caught, slip- 
ping like a gloriously spangled avalanche to the dark depths below. " My 
story," said Norman, " in which the castle was the principal scene of 
action is quite characteristic of the times referred to. A gentleman of 
rank who had been out with the Prince and had been wounded at Cullo- 
den, found himself on the evening of that disastrous day, on the banks of 
the river Farigaig, opposite Urquhart Castle. He had been helped so far 
by two faithful retainers, one of whom, a fox-hunter, was a native of the 
vale of Urquhart. This man, perceiving the gentleman was unable to 
proceed further, and seeing a boat moored to the shore, proposed that they 


should cross to the old Castle, in a vault of which, known only to a lew 
of the country people, they might remain secure from all pursuit. The 
hint was readily complied with, and, in less than a couple of hours, they 
found themselves entombed in the ruins of Urquhart Castle, where sleep 
shortly overpowered them, and, the sun was high in the heavens next day 
ere any of them awoke. The gentleman's wound having been partially 
dressed, the fox-hunter's comrade yawningly observed 'that a bit of some- 
thing to eat would be a Godsend.' ' By my troth it would,' said the fox- 
hunter, ' and if my little Mary knew aught of poor Eoghainn Brocair's 
(Ewan the fox-hunter) plight, she would endeavour to relieve him though 
Sassenach bullets were flying about her ears.' ' By heaven ! our lurking- 
place is discovered ! ' whispered the gentleman, ' do you not observe a 
shadow hovering about the entrance.' ' 'Tis the shadow of a friend ' re- 
plied the Brocair ; and in an instant a long-bodied, short-legged Highland 
terrier sprung into the vault. ' Craicean, a dhuine bhochd,' said the over- 
joyed fox-hunter, hugging the faithful animal to his bosom, ' this is the 
kindest visit you ever paid me.' As soon as the shades of evening had 
darkened their retreat, Eoghainn untied his garter, and binding it round 
the dog's neck, caressed him, and pointing up the Glen, bade him go 
and bring the Brocair some food. The poor terrier looked wistfully in his 
face, and with a shake of his tail, quietly took his departure. In about 
four hours ' Craicean ' reappeared and endeavoured by every imaginable 
sign to make Eoghednn follow him outside. "With this the Brocair com- 
plied, but in a few seconds he re-entered accompanied by another person. 
Eoghainn having covered the only entrance to the cave with their plaids, 
struck a light and introduced, to Ms astonished friends, his betrothed 
young Mary Maclauchlan. The poor girl had understood by the garter 
which bound the terrier's neck, and which she herself had woven, that her 
Eoghainn was in the neighbourhood, and hastened to his relief with all 
the ready provision she could procure ; and not least, in the estimation of 
at least two of the fugitives, the feeling maiden had brought them a sip 
of unblemished whisky. In this manner they had been supplied with 
aliment for some time, when one night their fair visitor failed to come as 
usual. This, though it created no immediate alarm, somewhat astonished 
them ; but when the second night came and neither Mary nor her shaggy 
companion arrived, Eoghainn's uneasiness, on Mary's account, overcame 
every other feeling, and, in spite of all remonstrance, he ventured forth, 
in order to ascertain the cause of her delay. The night was dark and 
squally, and Eoghainn was proceeding up his native glen like one who 
felt that the very sound of his tread might betray him to death. With 
a beating heart he had walked upwards of two miles, when his ears were 
saluted with the distant report of a musket. Springing aside he con- 
cealed himself in a thicket which overhung the river. Here he remained 
but a very short time when he was joined by the Craicean dragging after 
him a cord, several yards in length. This circumstance brought the cold 
sweat from the brow of the Brocair. He knew that their enemies were 
in pursuit of them, that the cord had been affixed to the dogs neck in 
order that he might lead to their place of concealment ; and alas ! Eoghainn 
I'eai-ed much that Ms betrothed was at the mercy of his pursuers. What 
was to be done ? The moment was big with fate, but ho was determined 


to meet it like a man. Cutting tlxe cord and whispering to the terrier, 
"cul mo chois" (back of my heel) he again ventured to the road and 
moved warily onward. On arriving at an old wicker-wrought barn, he 
saw a light streaming from it, when creeping towards it, he observed a 
party of the enemy surrounding poor Mary Maclauchlan, who was, at the 
moment, undergoing a close examination by their officer. ' Come girl,' 
said he, ' though that blind rascal has let your dog escape, who would 
certainly have introduced 'us to the rebels, you will surely consult your 
own safety by guiding me to the spot ; nay, I know you will, here is my 
purse in token of my future friendship, and in order to conceal your share 
in the transaction you and I shall walk together to a place where you 
may point me out the lurking place of these fellows, and leave the rest to 
me; and do you,' continued he, turning to his party, 'remain all ready 
until you hear a whistle, when instantly make for the spot.' The Brocair 
crouched, as many a time he did, but never before did his heart beat at 
such a rate. As the officer and his passive guide took the road to the 
old Castle, Eogliainn followed close in their wake, and, when they had 
proceeded about a mile from the bam, they came upon the old hill road 
when Mary made a dead halt, as if quite at a loss how to act. ' Proceed, 
girl,' thundered the officer, 'I care not one farthing for my own. life, and 
if you do not instantly conduct me to the spot where the bloody rebels 
are concealed, this weapon,' drawing his sword 'shall, within two minutes, 
penetrate your cunning heart.' The poor girl trembled and staggered as 
the officer pointed his sword to her bosom, when the voice of Eoghainn 
fell on his ear like the knell of death, 'Turn your weapon this way, brave 
sir,' said the Brocair, 'Turn it this way,' and in a moment the officer 
and his shivered sword lay at his feet. ' Oh, for heaven's sake,' screamed 
the fainting girl, ' meddle not with his life.' ' No, no, Mary ; I shall 
not dirty my hands in his blood. I have only given him the weight 
of my oak sapling, so that he may sleep soundly till we are safe from 
the fangs of his bloodhounds.' That very night the fugitives left Urquhart 
Castle and got safe to the forests of Badenoch, where they skulked about 
with Lochiel and bis few followers until the gentleman escaped to France, 
when Eoghainn Brocair and his companion ventured once more, as they 
themselves expressed it, 'to the communion of Christians.' The offspring 
of the Brocair and Mary Maclauchlan are still in Lochaber." 


(1o 'be, Continued.) 



" After many years he returned to die," 

The last of the clansmen, grey-bearded and hoary, 

Sat lone by the old castle's ruin-wrapt shade, 
Where proudly his chief in the bloom of his glory 

Oft mustered his heroes for battle arrayed : 
He wept as he gazed on its beauties departed, 
He sighed in despair for its gloom of decay, 
Cold-shrouded his soul, and he sung broken-hearted, 
With grief-shaking voice a wild woe-sounding lay . 
" Weary, weary, sad returning, 
Exiled long in other climes, 
Hope's last flame, slow, feebly burning 

Seeks the home of olden times : 
In my joy why am 1 weeping ? 

Where my kindred ? Where my clan ? 
Whispers from the mountains creeping, 

Tell me ' I'm the only man.' 
" Yon tempest-starred mountains still loom in their grandeur, 

The loud rushing torrents still sweep thro' the glen, 
Thro' low- moaning forests dim spirits still wander, 
But where are the songs and the voices of men 1 
Tell me, storied ruins ! where, where are their slumbers ? 

Where now are the mighty no foe could withstand ? 
The voice of the silence in echoing numbers, 
Breathes sadly the tale of fate's merciless hand. 

" Ah me ! thro' the black clouds, one star shines in heaven, 

And flings o'er the darkness its fast waning light, 
'Tis to me an omen so tenderly given, 

Foretelling that soon 1 will sink in my night : 
The coronach slowly again is far pealing ! 

The grey ghosts of kinsmen I fondly can trace ! 
Around rne they gather ! and silent are kneeling, 
To gaze in deep sorrow on all of their race ! 
Slowly, slowly, sadly viewing 

With their weird mysterious scan, 
Desolation's gloomy ruin ! 

- All of kindred ! all of clan ! 
Ah ! my heart, my heart is fainting, 

Strangely shaking are my limbs, 
Heav'nward see ! their fingers pointing, 

And my vision trembling swims. 
Slowly, slowly, all-pervading, 

O'er me steals their chilly breath, 
See ! the single star is fading, 
Ling' ring in the joy of death, 

Darkness swiftly o'er me gathers, 
Softly fade these visions wan, 

Welcome give, ye spirit fathers, 
I'm the Last of all the Clan ! " 






WE do not care for Fairy Tales, as a rule, but we have read this 
book with genuine pleasure. It is written in a pleasant, easy style, and 
though it has the full complement of witchcraft, enchanted princesses, and, 
sudden transformations, it deals more with human sympathies and aifec- 
tions than is usual, in this class of literature. There are five different 
stories, of which the scene of two is laid in Germany, one in Denmark, 
one in Wales, and the other in the Highlands of Scotland. Baron Bruno, 
or the Unbelieving Philosopher, is the story of the Prime Minister at the 
Grand Ducal Court of Eumple Stiltzein. The Baron is not only a clever 
Statesman, but a Philosopher and Astronomer ; albeit, a sceptic in 
religious matters. He is so wrapt up in his abtruse studies that he 
ignores the pleasuies of domestic life, and lives a solitary man without 
wife or children. At last he begins to feel the loneliness of his home life, 
and overcome in spite of himself, he cries aloud " To you distant stars ! 
I nightly offer the homage of a constant worshipper ; would that you in 
return could give me to know the spell of love, and teach me what it is 
that inspires the painter, the poet, and the lover." This impassioned 
address is immediately answered by the appeprance of a beautiful maiden, 
who informs him that she is sent to teach him the spell of love, and to 
try to lead him through the influence of human affections to believe in 
the immortality of the soul. She becomes his wife, but exacts a promise 
from him, that once every month she is to spend the evening hours in 
undisturbed solitude, as her life depends on the strict observance of this. 
She also tells him that if he doubts her faith even for a moment she will 
have to leave him and return to her celestial home. They live happily for 
a tune, but at length, through the machinations of a wicked Countess 
Olga, a spinster of uncertain age, who had hoped to have gained the 
Baron for herself, he becomes uneasy, and one night is so worked upon 
by the wily insinuations of the spiteful Countess, and irritated at the non- 
appearance of his wife at a Grand State Ball, that he rushes home in a 
frenzy of suspicion, and regardless of his promise, breaks in on the 
Baroness' seclusion. The result is disastrous, the child dies and his wife 
returns to her starry home ; but her mission is fulfilled, for over the 
death -bed of his infant a scene full of pathos his heart softens and he 
avows his belief. This story is capitally told, and considerable humour 
is displayed in the account of a grand Court Dinner, at which the 
young Prince and his mischievous companions amuse themselves by 


sticking burrs on the footmen's silk stockings, much to the discomfiture 
of the poor flunkeys, the dismay of the high officials, and the indignation 
of the Grand Duke. 

"Esgair: The Bride of Llyn Idwyl," is founded on an old "Welsh 
Legend, and is a graceful, though rather weird story. " Eothwald, the 
young sculptor," tells how a Mermaiden was wooed and won, but in 
Eothwald's breast the artist was stronger than the lover, and the poor 
Mermaid died broken-hearted. 

" Fido and Fidunia " is the longest of the tales, and will, we think, be 
the favourite with young folks. Fido is the very embodiment of canine 
sagacity, and poor, plain, unsophisticated Fidunia is a well drawn character, 
though she seems to be rather hardly dealt by. There is one thing whicli 
may be considered a defect in this otherwise charming book ; all the 
heroines, though amiable and faultless, -come to a sad end. They are 
made the scapegoats of their masculine companions. Though this is too 
often the case in real life, it is much more pleasant in a Fairy Tale, that 
all the amiable characters should be married and " live happy ever after." 

Eudamion, the hero of the Highland story, is the son of Valbion, the 
wild sea-king, who has deserted him and his mother. Eudsemon, as may 
be supposed from his mixed parentage, is a singular being, living a hermit- 
like life in the lonely Castle Brochel, on the Island of liaasay. Carefully 
educated by liis mother, he knows all the medicinal properties of herbs 
and minerals. This, combined with magic lore inherited from his father, 
enables him to perform such wonderful cures that he is known far and wide 
as "The Enchanter of the North." His fame reaches the Lowlands, where 
lives a beautiful princess, afflicted, through the magical spells of Valbion, 
with dumbness. Her parents bring her to Castle Brochel in the hope that 
Eudsemon may work her cure. He begins by teaching her the game of 
chess, and then tries the power of music. This enables her to sing but not 
to speak. To complete the cure it is necessary that she should visit the 
abode of the powerful Valbion himself in the mysterious submerged hulls 
of Thuisto an expedition fraught with great danger; and which, though 
it proves the means of restoring speech to the princess, proves fatal to 
Eudoemon, through the indiscretion of the Queen. The poor Princess in 
gaining the use of her tongue loses her heart, and, like a second Ophelia, 
goes distracted, for the loss of her lover. 

The following is given as the Higliland Legend of Castle Brochel, on 
which the story is founded : 

On the eastern side of the Isle of Raasay there still stands a lonely ruin known as 
Castle Brochel. Perched upon precipitous rocks at the very verge of the ocean, it is easy 
to imagine how, armed and provisioned, this fortress held its own amid the perpetual 
warfare of early Celtic times. Castle Brochel has always borne a doubtful reputation. 
According to tradition, it was originally built with the price of blood, for the ancient 
legend runs somewhat after this fashion. Sbiel Torquil went forth with his dogs one 
morning to hunt the red deer on the wild mountains Blaven and Glamaig, in the neigh- 
bouring Island of Skye. Sheil Torquil had with him only one retainer, but he was a 
host in himself, being surnamed, from his immense size and strength, the (Ji'lii- .Mm.'. 
After some time they sighted a stag. In the ardour of the chase the dogs soon run nut 
of sight, pursuing their quarry towards the shore at Sligachan. Now it so happened 
that the young Kreshiuish in his galley was anchored on that side of the island within 
eight of the beach. He saw the hunted animal about to take to the water, and swim, us 
deer are often known to do, across the narrow strait which lies between iSkye and K 
Kreshiuish and Ms men at once landed and took possession, not only of the stag itself, 


but of the dogs which, panting and exhausted, were unable to offer any resistance. Shiel 
Torquil presently appeared on the scene and angrily asked for his deer and his hounds. 
Kreshinish refused to deliver them up. A bloody struggle ensued, during which the 
Gillie More inflicted a fatal wound upon the ill-fated young chieftain who unwittingly 
(at first) had interfered with the sports of another. This brought the affray to a speedy 
conclusion, and Shiel Torquil with his follower carried off deer and dogs in triumph. Not 
long after this the poor old father of Kreshinish came to Skye to seek for the murderer 
of his son, and publicly offered the reward of a bag of silver to any one who would show 
him the guilty man. The Gillie More, hearing of the promised guerdon, boldly entered 
the presence of the elder Kreshinish. Confessing that he himself had slain the youthful 
chieftain, he urged in self-defence the young man's overbearing conduct in attempting 
to carry off Shiel Torquil's stag-hounds and game. The bereaved father, obliged by the 
stringent laws of Highland honour to fulfil his solemn promise, reluctantly bestowed 
the bag of silver on the very man who had cut off his only child in the early bloom of 
manhood. The Gillie More, however, haunted by remorse, and still fearing the avenger's 
footstep, entreated his master to accept the money and build therewith a retreat for 
them both. Shiel Torquil granted his henchman's request. After some time spent in 
searching for a suitable site, they at last selected the wild easterly shore of itaasay. 
Here were speedily raised the frowning walls of Castle Brochel. Secured from sudden 
attack by the inaccessible situation of their refuge, the Gillie More and his master lived 
in peace for many years. Their retired habits, and their dislike to intruders, coupled 
with this strange tale of robbery and murder, caused the Castle, though newly-built, to 
be regarded with no friendly eye. When they died, it was left untenanted for a con- 
siderable time. Many reports were circulated concerning the strange sights and sounds 
to be seen and heard at the eerie hour of twilight, or amid the silent watches of tha 
night, by the belated traveller who chanced to pass that way by sea or by land. At the 
period of which we speak, Castle Brochel had, however, for some time been inhabited 
by a being whose origin was partially shrouded in mystery, the gloomy Eudtemon, 
known as the " Enchanter of the North." 

It will be seen that our author is ignorant of the Gaelic language ; for 
she thinks Shiel Torquil or correctly, Siol Torquil is a proper name, 
and applies it to a person, instead of a sept or branch of the Macleods. 
She is also defective in her knowledge of Hebridean geography. Old 
Kreshinish correctly Grishernish comes to Skye, while we all know 
the place, and the man, who was called after it, to be in Skye. 

"We are divulging no secret however, in stating that, although the 
author appears to be but indiiferently acquainted with the Highlands, she 
is of Highland extraction. And now that the connection is re-established 
by her brother, John Darroch, Esq., by his recent purchase of the Estate 
of Torridon, she will enjoy better opportunities of making herself more 
fully acquainted with the country of her ancestors. 

The book is beautifully illustrated by E. Caldecott. 

LOOAN'S SCOTTISH GAEL.- This publication, by Hugh Mackenzie, Bank 
Lane, has reached the fourth part. In the third we have coloured and 
well executed plates of the Bonnets of the Highlanders, and the Sporans of 
the different Highland Regiments ; after which we have an account of the 
peculiar Oaths of the Gael ; the Chief's Body Guard ; Mode of Drawing up the 
Highland Armies ; Right of certain Clans to certain positions ; Military 
tactics and Mode of Attack ; Valour of the Celtic Females ; Duties of the 
Bards ; Origin, Adaptation to the country, and Equity of Clanship ; Foster- 
age ; Mode of Electing Chiefs, and Titles of Celtic Nobility ; Origin of Feudal 
Tenures ; Creachs ; Blackmail ; &c., &c. Part four treats of Gaelic Law and 
Law Terms ; Judges ; Punishments ; Manner of Dress ; Painting the Body ; 
Animal's Skins ; Origin of Clan Tartans ; Native Dyes ; Costumes; Bonnet; 
Shield Ornaments ; Women's Dress ; Defensive Armour ; Mail and Helmets ; 
Shields, and other interesting matter. Great credit is due to the publisher 
for the expeditious progress he is making in bringing out the work, 


No. VII. MAY 1876. 


GEOLOGY is a very difficult, but highly interesting science. Its importance 
may be conceived, when it is considered that it has engaged the attention 
and called forth the profound researches of such men as Lyell, Buck- 
land, Agassiz, De la Beche, Philips, Murchison, Miller, and many others 
of less elevated standing. The difficulty of the science is manifested by 
the variety of opinions which are entertained on certain points by such 
learned gentlemen as those just mentioned. Different theories have 
been framed by different men, and combated by others, while in regard 
to certain important features, all are fortunately agreed. As to the 
visible structure of the earth's surface, the entire group of these "savans" 
call to their aid the supposed existence at one time of floods of water, up- 
heavings of the earth, internal fires, volcanic eruptions, and such like. 
Professor Geikie, in a lecture lately delivered in Glasgow on ' ' Mountain 
Architecture," remarks that it was a common and popular belief that the 
mountains of the globe belonged to the primeval architecture of our planet, 
and that they were usually spoken of as types of eternity and emblems of 
permanence. The learned Professor, however, explained that, from care- 
ful investigation, it clearly appeared that, instead of being a piece of the 
original framework of the world, mountains rose comparatively late in the 
annals of the earth, and that in consequence, they bear evident traces of 
the successive stages of their growth, from the time their sites were 
covered by a deep ocean, until after, perhaps, many vicissitudes and re- 
volutions, they took the shape and semblance which they now wear. It 
may be farther remarked that this gentleman prosecutes his theory, by 
directing attention to three things in reference to the formation of moun- 
tains, and these are, their materials, their building, and their sculpture. 
The materials are the crystalline and the fragmental the first of these 
forming the centre and nucleus of all mountain ranges ; while the 
fragmental rocks formed the outer nucleus or surface. He further main- 
tains that all the mountain chains of the globe were originally sea-bottoms, 
which theory is strengthened by the fact of marine fossils being found in 
the rocks out of which these mountains were built. The learned gentle- 
man adduced a train of arguments to show that mountains were usually 
divided into three classes, indicative of the age of the rocks of which they 


were formed ; that is, the primary, the secondary, and the tertiary. As 
an example of the former, he instanced the mountains of the Highlands, 
as it is an indisputable geological fact that our Highland mountains are 
so old, and have so long been exposed to the processes of waste that they 
have altered their original character, and presently bear very little sem- 
blance to the forms under which they appeared when first upheaved. 
The secondary motintains are represented by the dales and wolds of 
Yorkshire and Lancashire, while the tertiary class includes all the great 
mountain chains of the globe, such as the Alps and Pyrenees, the Andes 
and the Hynialayas. The learned lecturer observed further, that the 
present mountains of our Highlands were not mountains because they 
were upheaved as such, but because they had been left as immoveable 
elevations when the glens and valleys had been cut out of the existing 
mass. But to effect all this, various instrumentalities were required, 
consequently no fewer than four sculpturing agencies are enumerated as 
requisite viz., ice-wedges, snow and glaciers, rain and rivers. These 
were the mighty tools that operated on the formation of our mountains 
and hills and the character, shape, and general appearance of these lofty 
elevations depended much on the nature of the materials to be operated 

In addition to these interesting remarks, it may be stated, that no 
doubt the agency of fire has effected many changes on the surface of the 
globe. In various quarters of the world orifices appear, which receive the 
name of volcanoes. At irregular intervals, masses of melted substances, 
gases, stones, and cinders are heaved up from these orifices, which are known 
under the general name of lavas. These huge openings convmonly appear 
on the summits of lofty mountains, and are called craters. In different 
parts of the globe may be seen what are called extinct volcanoes, being 
such as have ceased to act within the records of history. Others are 
active still, such as Mount Etna in Sicily, Vesuvius in Italy, Hecla, 
Jokul, and Krabia in Iceland. There are traces of extinct volcanoes in 
every region of the earth. Although dormant from the earliest ages, yet 
unmistakable vestiges of them appear in the open craters, scoria;, and 
bituminous substances which are still distinctly visible. It must be ac- 
knowledged, however, that the exciting or primary cause of volcanic action 
still remains a matter of doubt and conjecture in the minds of the most 
learned of our philosophers. 

Having thus premised with a few general observations on the structure 
of the globe, and the formation of its mountains, the attention of the 
reader is respectfully directed to the subject of Vitrified Forts in Scot- 
land, and particularly so of " Craig Phadruig " in close vicinity to the 
Capital of the Highlands. Learned and scientific gentlemen have differed 
so vastly as to the nature, formation, and purposes of these forts, that it 
cannot fail to be both amusing and instructive, to give a brief account of 
the opinions set forth on both sides. 

Craig Phadruig is a round, wood-covered hill of considerable elevation, 
about a mile to the north-west of Inverness. The view from the top of 
it is both extensive and interesting. To the south, the Monaliadh and 
Stratherrick hills are seen in their variegated forms in the distant back- 


ground. To the north, the Ross-shire mountains, with the proud Ben 
Wyvis towering in the midst of them, are distinctly visible. In the low 
grounds the Highland Capital, with its romantic environs, and intersect- 
ing river, and beautiful islands, may be vieAved to every advantage ; while 
to the north-east the Moray Frith, lessening in breadth as it approaches, 
and the turretted fortifications of Fort-George in the distant horizon, 
decorate the attractive landscape. 

On the top of this hill there are the vestiges of a vitrified fort of extensive 
dimensions. There are likewise many other similar forts in various parts of 
Scotland, but the greater number of them lie in the counties of Aberdeen, 
Forfar, Fife, Kincardine, Banff, Moray, Argyle, Bute, and Inverness. 
But those that have been discovered and described, are far more numerous 
in the county of Inverness than in all the other counties put together. 
The only Lowland shires in which forts of this description have been 
observed, are Galloway and Berwick. Dr Hibbert describes a number of 
" Cairns " in the Orkneys, containing masses of vitrified substances, 
which he calls Beacon-cairns. 

It is curious to remark how the same appearances to different observers 
lead to the most opposite conclusions. The majority of scientific gentle- 
men who have visited these forts, have entertained no doubt that the vit- 
rified substances on the tops of those hills are vestiges of the works of art, 
and the remains of structures reared for the purpose of defence. The 
Bishop of Deny, Pennant, and a few others, were of a different opinion, 
and maintained that they were not the remains of any artificial work, but 
the traces of volcanic agency. The Bishop of Derry inspected Craig Pha- 
druig, and carried specimens from it of what he called the lava, to the 
Royal Society of London. In the Transactions of that Society for 1777, 
there appeared an account of Craig Phadruig, called a " volcanic hill," 
near Inverness, in which the writer pronounces that hill to be an extin- 
guished volcano ; and the Secretary adds a note stating, that these speci- 
mens, having been examined by some of the members well acquainted 
with volcanic production, were judged by them to be real lava. Such 
was likewise the opinion of Andrew Crosbie, Esq., who in 1780 furnished, 
the Philosophical Society of Edinburgh with a paper, in which he offered 
some curious conjectures, by which he supposed the whole of this hill to 
have been thrown up from the bottom of the sea, by the operation of in- 
testine fire. 

Lord Woodhouselee, so well known in his day for his legal acumen, 
scientific knowledge, and genial manners, made a personal visit to Craig 
Phadruig in 1 782, and to other similar forts in the north. Having read the 
published accounts of Mr Williams, of the Bishop of Derry, of Crosbie, 
and others, his lordship stated that the perusal of these different opinions 
excited his curiosity to examine such of the hills as lie in that country, 
and that he proposed to speak of the result of that examination, but to 
confine himself chiefly to Craig Phadruig. Craig Phadruig, said he, is a 
small conical hill which forms the eastern extremity of that ridge of 
mountains which bounds Loch Ness upon the north side. It is situated 
about a mile to the north-west of Inverness, and is accessible on two 
different quarters. On approaching Craig Phadruig upon the west side, 


what first presents itself to view, is a road cut through the rock from the 
bottom to the summit, in most places about ten feet in breadth, and 
nearly of the same depth, winding in a serpentine direction for about 
seventy feet, by which means an ascent is gained over a steep rock, which 
is otherwise quite inaccessible from that quarter. The form alone of this 
road leaves little room to doubt of its being an operation of art. 

From the nature of the stone itself, of which the hill is formed, and 
from the compound appearance of water-worn pebbles, sticking in a 
cementing mass, it has been conjectured that these pebbles, together with 
the bed in which they are lodged, had been forced up from the bottom 
of the sea, by internal fire. 

With regard to the nature of the stone of the hill, it may be observed 
only, that this compound appearance in the rock at Craig Phadruig affords 
no more presumption of this particular hill being forced up by fire from 
the bottom of the sea, than it does of all the surrounding hills for many 
miles having the same origin. The greatest part of the hills that bound 
Loch Ness are composed of the same materials, or at least contain large 
strata of the same stone already mentioned. Yet none of these hills 
exhibit the smallest appearance of the effects of fire, though being 
infinitely higher than Craig Phadruig, and consequently demanding a 
much greater force to raise them up, had fire been the agent, its effects 
on them probably would have been much more conspicuous than on the 
hills which are incomparably smaller. 

Woodhouselee also states, that the stone of which the whole of this, 
and most of the neighbouring hills are composed, is a mixed mass of 
round water-worn pieces of different coloured granite, greyish or spreckled 
quartz, and the common white quartz. This compound stone, Avhich is 
well known to miners, has, from its appearance, been termed plum-pudding 
stone. Those who have entertained the notion of Craig Phadruig's being 
an extinguished volcano, have maintained that this compound stone is of 
the nature of the volcanic " tufas." This, however, will be acknowledged 
to be a mistake by all who have examined and compared the two sub- 
stances. The volcanic tufas are all composed of materials which have 
undergone a change by fire ; but the plum-pudding stone has undergone 
no such change. 

In his lengthy paper, Lord Woodhouselee describes a small platform 
which overhangs the serpentine road already mentioned, and on the edge 
of that platform are placed, evidently by art, four immense stones, which, 
if pushed over, as they might easily be, would crush invaders into atoms, 
or at least effectually block up the ascent. The fort on the top of the 
hill is guarded by an outer bulwark, which is separated by a few feet 
from the inner wall. The external wall may be traced round the whole 
fort, while a line of vitrified matter, sticking to the rock, marks its course. 
On the east side, where the fort is most accessible, there is an immense 
rampart of vitrified matter, fully forty feet in thickness. 

These forts have undoubtedly been built in primeval ages, as places of 
protection and defence. They are invariably situated in sight of each 
other, and suitable, in consequence, for giving and receiving warnings by 
beacon lights on the approach of an enemy. The want of lime and other 


cementing materials, caused the builders of these forts to make use of such 
stones for cement as they found to be fusible. 

Dr M'Culloch, speaking of a fort in Argyleshire, called Dun Mac 
Sniochain, says that it is situated on a small rocky hill, which forms a 
kind of island in the plain, of a narrow prolonged shape, and scarped all 
round, except at one extremity, which affords access to the summit and 
the fort. The height of this hill, or rock, above the plain seems to be 
about forty or fifty feet ; and it is even, in the modern military sense, a 
strong position. It is important to remark, that the rock consists of 
limestone and slate intermixed, the plain itself being chiefly alluvial, and 
the nearest hill and rocks being of trap, and of the plum-pudding stone 
so well known to all travellers, which also abounds in the vicinity of 
Oban. That stone is itself formed of fragments of various trap rocks, 
which is remarkable for its ready fusibility, while the rock on which the 
fort stands is of an infusible nature. The fort. itself is so contrived as to 
occupy nearly the whole summit, which is about 250 yards long, and 
consists of three distinct parallelogrammic enclosures. 

The walls of this fort are but partially vitrified, and the cause which 
M'Culloch assigns for this, is the infusible nature of many of the stones. 
The general result is, that in some parts the wall forms a solid mass, but 
of an irregular composition, consisting of scoria, slag, burnt stones, and 
stones scarcely altered, united together, but with vacant intervals ; while 
in other places it is separable into lumps of various size, and into single 

There is a remarkable fort in Aberdeenshire on the hill of Noth, which 
occupies a higher position, perhaps, than any other fort in Scotland. The 
hill is nearly two thousand feet in height, and is visible from the most 
distant parts of the country around. This fort must have been a powerful 
place of defence, and was supplied with water from a well within its walls. 
It is also conjectured that Craig Phadruig, and several others of these forts 
had draw-wells, by means of perforation made within the rampaits. 
Speaking of Noth, M'Culloch says : " We may indeed wonder how any 
one could have imagined such a work the produce of a volcano, and not 
less, how any one, capable in the least degree of observation or reasoning, 
could have conceived it the effect of beacon fires." 

There is another fort at Dunadeer in the same county, but not so 
lofty as Noth. The walls of Dunadeer are composed of fusible black 
granite, and in many points they much resemble those of Dun Mac 
Sniochain. If space would permit, several other duns or forts might be 
mentioned, which are all of similar appearances with those already de- 
scribed. Among these is Dun Jardel, a lofty hill that rises in a beautiful, 
irregular, conic-figure on the south side of Loch Ness, about two miles to 
the eastward of the celebrated Fall of Foyers. Opposite to Dun Jardel, 
on the north side of Loch Ness, is another conical hill called Dun Screbin, 
on the top of which there are similar remains of a fortification. To the 
westward, and near Fort -Augustus there is Tor Dun, which is likewise 
fortified on its summit. In the county of Nairn there is the hill of Dun 
Evan, which has been, no doubt, originally a place of defence. 

Mr Williams, the earliest discoverer of these ruins, had his attention 


first attracted to Cnoc Farril in the county of Ross. The ruins on this 
hill are very extensive, and unlike those already mentioned, they present 
the vestiges, not of one structure, but of many. It must have been a 
place of great importance in ancient times. The vitrified ruins extend 
for a considerable distance along the ridge of the hill. Different from all 
the other forts, the vitrification pervades only the outside face, or the 
outermost stones of the external wall. The importance of this garrison 
is likewise shown by the fact of two wells being found within the 
ramparts of the fort. 

There is one circumstance already alluded to which is worthy of 
notice, that these forts are visible from each other. Tor Dun is plainly 
discernible from Dun Jardel. Again, Dun Jardel is plainly seen from 
Dun Screbin, and Dun Screbin from Craig Phadruig. In the same way, 
Dun Farril and Dun Evan are visible from Craig Phadruig. Thus, there 
is a chain of fortified hills 'so situated, that signals of alarm could be made 
over an extensive range of country, and that in the shortest space of time. 

When every circumstance connected with the formation and appear- 
ances of these forts is duly and reasonably considered, one can hardly fail 
to arrive at the conclusion that they have been constructed in the earlier 
ages as garrisons and places of defence. To maintain, as some have done, 
that the vitrifications discovered in most of them are volcanic productions, 
appears to be a theory devoid of evidence. It' would be unreasonable to 
suppose that volcanic agency should be visible in the burnt stones, scoria, 
and vitrified substances on these hills, only when visible traces of walls 
and fortifications are manifested, while the remnants of volcanic agency 
are not met with on other hills in the same districts, whereon no such 
forts had ever been built. They are undoubtedly the works of art, which 
the aboriginal races in these realms had skilfully practised in self-defence. 
While in these forts stones have been found only partially fused, and 
these stones of a different consistency with the rocks on which the forts 
were built, it is reasonable to think, that the fusible materials had been 
taken to the hill tops from such quarries or localities as could furnish 
them, in order to cement the most unprotected portions of their Avails. 
This is the opinion of Lord Woodhouselee, Mr Williams, Sir George 
Mackenzie, and many others. Various theories have been maintained as 
to the modus operandi in rearing these forts. Dr Hibbert, Sir George 
Mackenzie, and many others have adopted the theory, that these forts were 
beacons, and that the great signal fires lighted up in them on occasions of 
alarm, converted the walls by degrees into vitrified masses. Other writers 
of no mean repute object to this theory, on the ground, that in hundreds 
of places where ancient beacon fires were lighted, there are no traces of 
vitrification. Lord Woodhouselee adopted a still more absurd theory, 
that the vitrification of the stones in these forts was the result of accident, 
arising from the attempts of besiegers to burn out the garrisons, by means 
of flaming materials placed against the external walls. Mr Williams, 
who was supported by Dr M'Culloch and several others, maintained a 
more reasonable and sensible theory, that the vitrification was intentional, 
and carried on in the process of building. The plan of vitrification, in 
the Doctor's opinion, was the construction of certain furnaces, by means of 


earthern mounds, in which stones and flammable substances were placed 
until the structure was reared. 

In Skye, and on the sea coasts of most of the Western Isles, there are 
the ruins of numberless duns or forts, which must be of far less remote 
origin, than that of the inland vitrified forts already described. These 
forts in Skye and elsewhere, have no traces of vitrification in their walls, 
and appear to have been reared by the aboriginal Celts in early Druidical 
periods, to protect themselves fromthe inroads of their Scandinavian piratical 
enemies. Within the distance of about fifteen miles of sea coast in the 
north end of Skye, there are no fewer than six of these Danish forts 
viz., Dun Scuddeburgh, Dun Liath, Dun Tuilm, Dun Bhanneran, Dun 
Barplacaig, and Dun Deirg. Dun Deirg, the last mentioned, is the Fort 
of Dargo, and its ruins are more extensive and entire, than are those of any 
of the other forts alluded to. It is known that Dearg, or Dargo, was a brave 
and warlike Druid, who attempted to restore the fallen dignity of his order. 
Ossian, the Celtic Bard, of whom so much is said and written in these 
latter times, makes mention of " Dearg nan Druidhean," that is, " Dargo 
of the Druids." The ruins of Dun Deirg, the Fort of Dargo, are still 
interesting, being several feet in height, and built of large uncemented 
stones. In reference to this fort, many traditions are still afloat among 
the old men of the place. Several tiers of stone as yet remain in some 
of these forts, and from the great size of most of the blocks which were 
used, it seems astonishing how they could have been raised from the 
ground by a rude people, unless very strong mechanical powers had been 
made to act upon them. It is evident, from the situation of these forts, 
that they were intended to give each other an alarm at the approach of 
their enemies by sea. The inland vitrified forts, such as Craig Phadruig 
and Cnoc Farril, of much older date, were intended to give warnings in a 
similar manner, of the approach of enemies, not by sea, but of hostile 
tribes from the districts around. The signal which was given, perhaps, 
from all these forts, as may be gathered from ancient traditions and songs, 
consisted of something which was set on fire for the purpose, and the 
burning light was set up xipon the turrets of the fort, by what was called 
the " crann-taraidh " or the " fiery cross." We have it thus in the poetic 
words of the aged Ullin : 

" Ach ciod so'n solus ann Innisfail, 

( ) chrann-taraidh an f huathais ? 
Togaibh bhur siuil, tairnibh bhur raimh, 
Grad ruithibh gu traigh, is buaidh leibh." 

" But what light is this in Innisfail, 

From the gathering beam of terror? 

Unfurl your sails, ply your oars, 

Make haste to the beach, and may victory be yours." 

One of the most securely fortified duns in Skye, and perhaps one of the 
most extensive was Dunscaith, in the parish of Sleat. Ossian relates 
that Cuchullin, the son of Semo, was the chief of the Isle of Mist, and 
resided in his stronghold at Dunscaith. The Cuchullin hills in Skye, 
as well as other localities in that island, still bear his mighty name. 
There is a lar-v stone close by Dunscaith Castle, in which there had 


evidently "been bolts, or links of iron, to which, as tradition says, Cuchul- 
lin usually chained " Luath," his favourite hunting dog. While other 
forts in that island were early permitted to fall into ruins, Dunscaith 
was preserved for fourteen or fifteen centuries, and latterly by the High- 
land chiefs. This fort became famous in the history of the Isles. 
Scotland fell into a state of great confusion by the death of King James 
IV., and of so many of his nobles at the Battle of Flodden, and the 
disastrous effects of that event reached the "Western Isles. The Highland 
chiefs, taking advantage of these disturbances, proclaimed Sir Donald of 
Lochalsh to be Lord of the Isles. He made Dunscaith one of his prin- 
cipal residences. In 1513 he collected a strong force of Islesmen, and 
being assisted by Glengarry, Chisholm of Comer, and others, he seized 
and plundered the Castle of Urquhart on Loch Ness, and the adjacent 
lands, all which then belonged to John Grant of Freuchy. At that very 
time, in consequence of a long standing feud, Lachlan Maclean of Duart, 
aided by Alexander Macleod of Dunvegan, and other hostile chiefs, seized 
the stronghold of Dunscaith, and eventually demolished it as a place of 
protection. Its grey ruins are still distinct, and bear evidence of its 
ancient greatness and strength. So much, therefore, as to these com- 
paratively modern Danish forts ; but the readers of the Celtic Magazine 
will observe the antiquity of the vitrified fortifications already taken notice 
of, and the race of men who constructed them, are matters regarding 
which there is not a vestige of historical evidence. They are generally 
attributed to the Celts, the aboriginal settlers in this kingdom. Lord 
Woodhouselee, however, has endeavoured to show, by an elaborate train 
of argument, that these forts must have been erected previously to the 
introduction of the Druidical system, or in other words, at a period of 
time antecedent to the first visitation of this island by the Celtae or 
Gauls. This supposition carries the date of the building of these struc- 
tures up to a period of antiquity far beyond the existence of all historical 
records, and connects them with some unknown tribes of human beings, 
which must have been of barbarous manners, and of a lawless condition 
of life. 



NEXT month we hope to issue the Celtic Magazine in a new dress a 
Cover with a beautiful design, by C. Stanton, A.R.S.A., and engraved by 
Paterson of Edinburgh. We also intend te add a Supplement of eight 
or ten pages, to enable us to give our Gaelic friends a valuable Gaelic 
Paper on " IONA," read before the Gaelic Society of London, by one of 
its members. 







THE destination of India was suddenly countermanded and exchanged for 
the Island of Martinique. "\Vith this change the following incident may 
have had something to do. While Colonel Cameron was making the 
most laudable endeavours to complete his regiment to the required 
strength, he received private information that it was intended to draft one 
of the newly raised corps to others at the time serving in India, to 
make up for their deficient numbers, and that the measure was resorted 
to solely on the potent plea of economy. Rumour, moreover, gave 
it that the Camerons were those to be sacrificed. This report reached 
the Colonel, and although through an unofficial channel, yet he con- 
sidered the source of his information to be too important to be. tivati-d 
with indifference, and it naturally caused him much uneasiness. "\Vhile 
in this state of uncertainty he learned that the Commander-in-Chief 
(Duke of York) Avas expected on a tour of inspection, and he deter- 
mined to await his arrival at Portsmouth, and seek an interview 
with reference to the truth or falsehood of the rumour regarding the 
drafting of the 79th. Of the nature and result of this audience we have read 
two accounts which will be transcribed as briefly as possible. The first is 
from the pages of the Record of the 79th.* " Colonel Cameron respect- 
fully, yet firmly, remonstrated on the extreme hardship and injustice of 
the proposed measure, which, besides, being a breach of faith towards 
himself personally, would also be in open violation of a specific clause 
in His Majesty's 'Letter of Service' for raising the regiment. These 
representations had their effect, and, if an order so vexatious ever existed, 
it was rescinded, as nothing was afterwards heard of drafting." To this 
account the following "foot-note" is added, and we shall reproduce it, that 
an opportunity may be given to compare the uncompromising nature of the 
language, with the other account to follow : " At this interview Colonel 
( ':mn run plainly told the Duke ' that to draft the 79th was more than his 
Royal father dare do.' The Duke then said, ' the King will certainly send 
the regiment to the West Indies.' The Colonel, losing temper, replied, 
' you may tell the King from me that he may send us to h 1 if he likes, 
and I will go at the head of them, but he ilaunui draft its,' a line of 
argument which proved perfectly irresistible." The following is the 
version of this incident by Mr Thompson (the Chaplain).t " The regi- 
ment had not returned many weeks from the Continent when it was 
rumoured that it was to be drafted among others in India. Colonel 
i. however, was not the man to be disposed of in a manner so 

* Jamieson's Historical Record of the 79th Cameron Highlanders. 

+ Military Annals compiled by Sir John Phellspart (Colburn, London, 1819). 


summary, and lie lost no time in waiting on the Commaiider-in- Chief, who 
admitted that it was contemplated to distribute one of the young regiments 
to reinforce those in India, but that its officers would not suffer in rank 
or pay meanwhile. The Colonel then unfolded a copy of his ' Letter of 
Service,' and begged the Duke would listen, to the last clause of its terms, 
viz., ' No levy money will be allowed by the Crown, but in consideration of 
which it will not be drafted into other regiments' His Eoyal Highness 
remarked, that < if the 79th would be thus exempted you must not be dis- 
appointed if your Highlanders are sent to a climate more trying than 
India Martinique will probably be the destination.' To this Colonel 
Cameron answered, ' I have performed my duty to collect corps for general 
and permanent service, therefore that you may order us to the kottest spot 
in the King's dominions, and it will be cheerfully obeyed, and myself at 
the head of them ; but I trust His Majesty will not be advised to com- 
promise his commission.' After some complimentary allusion to the 
appearance of the regiment, the Duke shook hands with the Colonel, 
saying, ' Your protest will be taken into consideration.' " It is not of much 
consequence which version is the correct one, yet we incline to the 
belief that the Chaplain's has the better claim for acceptance. There is a 
rudeness and defiant tone throughout the first that Colonel Cameron 
would not be likely to commit himself to. He was by nature too courteous, 
and he would be politic enough to avoid language that might be con- 
strued into an act of insubordination. Whether it was from the necessi- 
ties of the service, or as a matter of punishment for his remonstrance 
against the drafting, has not transpired ; at any rate, within a few days after 
the interview, the regiment was directed to sail for the Island of 
Martinique. In this unhealthy place they remained for two years, where, 
and in which time, diseases carried off more officers and men than did the 
swords of the enemy in any of their subsequent battles. The regiment 
was reduced to less than 300 men, and Sir Ralph Abercromby (command- 
ing the station) ordered Colonel Cameron, with his remaining officers and 
sergeants, home, while he directed the convalescent soldiers to be attached 
to other corps in the adjacent island. However welcome, the order was, to 
quit such sickly quarters, the Colonel demurred to the unreasonable pro- 
position of the General, in detaining the men on stations where they had 
lost so many of their comrades by fevers. Sir Ralph's command, however 
harsh and cruel, was supreme, and the result to them was, that few returned 

In addition to grief for the loss of so many of his men, the Colonel 
had also the misfortune of losing his wife while stationed in Martinique. 
What, between the fevers, and the orders of Abercromby, drafting was 
accomplished most effectively, and Colonel Cameron had but a scanty 
number of his regiment to return home with. On arrival at Gravesend, 
Chatham was assigned as their station, but they did not rest long 
there ere they received orders to proceed to the north of Scotland to 
recruit for 800 men. As no place was specified- in the warrant, Colonel 
Cameron selected Inverness for his headquarters, from whence himself, 
his officers, and sergeants, travelled over the northern counties as far as 
Sutherland, where they were most successful (the 93d had not then been 
raised), and also westward through the districts of the Great Glen. These 


exertions were rewarded by Colonel Cameron being able to leave Inver- 
ness for Stirling at the head of 780 men to be inspected. Thus, in less 
than nine months after his return from Martinique he produced a fresh 
body, equal to a new regiment, and procured them, notwithstanding that 
the 9 1st and 92d had nearly denuded the country, a few years before, of 
all those eligible for soldiers ! 


COLONEL CAMERON and his new regiment were (1798) ordered to occ'ipy 
the military stations of the Channel Islands, and there they lay for 
twelve months, and until they received instructions to hold themselves in 
readiness for joining another expedition for the recovery of Holland from 
the French. The Duke of York again commanded in chief, while his 
generals of divisions were Sir Ralph Abercromby and Sir James Pultney, 
his brigadiers being Coote, Dundas, and Moore. The 79th formed part 
of Moore's brigade, with their countrymen, the First Royals and the 92d. 
Several actions took place with varying success, and considerable losses 
on both sides. The principal engagements were, one near a village named 
Egmont-op-Zee (Oct. 2d), and the other, in the vicinity of Alkmaar. 
Moore's brigade may be said to be alone the victors in the first, while the 
other British brigades shared as conquerors in the latter. The loss of the 
79th in this, their first, encounter with the enemy, *was two officers and 
several men killed, and nearly half the officers and men wounded. 
Among the latter was the Colonel, and so severe was the wound con- 
sidered that his recovery was dispaired of. The brigade received the 
thanks of His Royal Highness, the commander-iii-chief, who in passing it 
the day after the battle, approached the 79th, and, addressing Major 
M'Lean, inquired for the Colonel, and expressed a hope that his wound 
was not so severe as reported ; then taking off his hat, and turning to the 
regiment, he said, " Major M'Lean, nothing could do your Highlanders 
more credit than their conduct yesterday."* By this time the season w;is 
so near winter that the Duke, sensible that operations during it would 
not be attended with much advantage, entered into a capitulation, and 
thus ended the second expedition to the Continent, which may be con- 
sidered almost as ineffectual as that of 1793-4. It has been observed that 
although this was not the first campaign in which the Cameron High- 
landers served, yet it was their maiden one, as far as regards personal conflict 
with the enemy. On the subject of the engagement on this occasion, an 
incident is said to have occurred which, not being without interest, may 
be fairly introduced in the narrative. It need not be denied now, that, 
for centuries, and down to a considerable period in the reign of George 
III., there existed in the breasts of the Highlanders, and especially those 
of the Jacobite clans, a feeling of kinship for their ancient allies, the 
French, as against their mutual foes. That amity, however, would last 
then only so long as the French did not provoke the wrath of the King, to 
wh..m the 79th had now sworn fealty. Alan Cameron And his officers had 
nhv.uly pro\vd //,/ ,'/ loyality in defending the rights of the British crown 
in the American War, but that test had not yet been applied to his 

* Captain Jamieson's Historical Records of the 79th Regiment, p. 7. 


Highlanders, and there was no suspicion that the slightest defection 
existed, nor was there any, when the moment of action arrived. 

The incident referred to is hereafter transcribed on the authority of a 
gentleman, himself one cf the heroes of Albuera, from an interesting work 
on congenial subjects.* " Without quoting the other verses of this song,t 
I cannot help remarking that the feeling against the English nation ex- 
pressed in the song, came down, at least, among the adherents of the 
Stuart family, to my own time, the commencement of the war resulting 
from the French Revolution. This was shown by the 79th Highland 
Eegiment at a critical moment, on its first meeting the French under its 
illustrious founder and chief, Alain an JEarrachd (Allan of Erracht). This 
splendid officer heard a murmer passing through its ranks as the enemy 
was in front ' The French are our old friends, and of our own race.' 
Colonel Cameron said not a word, but ordered a slight movement forward, 
which brought his Lochaber men within range of the fire upon which he 
exclaimed in his own thundering voice, ' Now my men, there they are, 

and if you don't kill them, by they will kill you.' The Camerons, 

on hearing this threat, and finding the bullets whistling freely in their 
midst, soon gave a speedy account of their ancient allies. From that day 
(Egmont-op-Zee) there has not been in the army a regiment more dis- 
tinguished for loyalty and bravery." The sentiments of the song were 
entirely reversed during the Peninsular War, and the consequent com- 
panionship of the natives of the three Kingdoms, in many glorious victories, 
during the long years of that sanguinary strife. 


THE prowess of the British on this occasion (1800) is commemorated 
by the Gaelic bard, Alexander Mackinnon, an enthusiastic soldier, who 
shared in the campaign, as a non-commissioned officer in the 92d Regiment. 
In his epic Blar-na Holaind, he celebrates the deeds of the two Highland 
regiments (79th and 92d) and their leaders, the Marquis of Huntly and 
Colonel Cameron, thus 

'S dh'fhag iad shine mar a b' annsa, 
to cheannardach Mhorair Hunndaidh, 
An t-og smiorail, fearail, naimhdeil, 

IN 'an luamiadh ain-neart ga'r ionnsuidh. 
* * * * 

Bha'n leoghann colgarra gun gbealtachd 
Sa mliile fear sgairteil lamb, ruinn, 
An Camshronach garg o'n Earrachd 
Mar ursainn chatha 's na blaraibh. 

The army left the shores of Holland and arrived in England, where they 
remained undisturbed to the following August, when a demonstration 
against Ferrol was determined on. The force sent included Colonel 
Canuron and his regiment, but the laurels attendant thereon were too 
slight to deserve notice. Another and more important expedition followed, 
of which the then unknown land of the Pharoahs was the destination. 

* Traditions of tbe Highlands, its Poetry, Music, &c., page 130, by Captain D 
Campbell, late 57th Regiment. Collie, Edinburgh, 1862. 

t An old Gaelic Song of inimical sentiments towards tbe opponents of the Stewart 


During the time the British were aiding the Continentals, they were 
themselves on the defensive, protecting their interests in India, against the 
ill-feeling of its petty princes. It became known that the Prince of 
Mysore Tippoo Saib was intriguing with the French in the Mauritius 
(Isle of France) for the purpose of obtaining their assistance in ex- 
pelling the British from India ; and to thwart this project it became 
urgently necessary that the force in India should be augmented with as 
little delay as possible. Seringapatam was the fortress of Mysore, and 
the residence of its savage ruler, Tippoo. Lord Mornington, the Governor- 
Generalj determined to anticipate any hostile operations, and dispatched 
a force against this place. One of the divisions was under the command 
of his Lordship's brother, Colonel Wellesley. An action took place, and 
Tippoo and the Mysoreans were defeated. The place was invested, an 
assault on its citadel made, and Tippoo was killed.* This capture of 
Seiingapatam, and the death of its governor put a complete extinguisher 
on the prospects of the French in that quarter ; but they still continued 
in alliance with other powerful chieftains in the north and west of India. 
At this time a French army, with Bonaparte at its head, arrived in Egypt, 
preparatory to a movement 011 India. To drive this force out of Egypt 
was next determined on by the British ministry. The comparative 
failures hitherto experienced in Holland had not impaired the confidence 
of the country in its soldiers, or in the skill of its leaders. Sir Ralph 
Abercromby proceeded Avith a force of 12,000 men, arriving at Aboukir 
in March 1801. Bonaparte had, meanwhile, departed to look after his 
personal interests in France, leaving the command with General Menou. 
The British fleet had scarcely appeared in the bay ere Menou was prepared 
for resistance. This demonstration, however, did not daunt the former 
from attempting to leave their ships. To land in the face of an opposing 
army was a task of great hazard. A murderous fire galled them as they 
approached the beach. The men nevertheless landed, forming in order as 
best they could, bravely charged, and drove back the enemy, with great 
gallantry. The French retired and entrenched themselves in the vicinity 
of Alexandria. Abercromby followed him. Generals Hutchinson and 
Moore ably assisted. The French commenced the attack on the night of 
the 20th. The 42d Highlanders, who displayed their accustomed valour, 
were the first encountered. The commander was in their midst encourag- 
ing them, and it was on that occasion that he, with such effect, reminded 
them of " their ancestors." As day dawned a numerous body of cavalry 
bore down again on the shattered ranks of the Black Watch. Simul- 
taneously with this, the brigade, of which Colonel Cameron and the 79th 
formed part, met dense swarms of the enemy's riflemen, with whom a 
contest lasted, more or less, throughout the day (21st). Their ammuni- 
tion had been expended, and charges with the bayonet were their only 
recourse. The enemy, despairing of success, collected his scattered columns, 
and withdrew to his original position. The British then, laying siege to 
Alexandria, closely invested it, and in a few days it surrendered. Thus 
ended a short but arduous campaign. The result being, the total and 
rapid expulsion of the French army from Egypt. The four Higliland 

* The name of Sir David Baird will ever be honourably associated with the storming 
of Seringapatam and the death of Tippoo Saib. 


regiments (42d, 79th, 90th, and 92d) gained imperishable honour in this 
campaign, and so also did their comrades, the Welsh Fusiliers, the 50th, 
and 28th (the Slashers). The latter regiment was attacked before and 
behind ; the rear faced about and fought valiantly in this double posi- 
tion, and for this act of splendid discipline they are honoured by being 
allowed to wear their number on the back as well as on the front of their 
regimental caps. 

The Egyptian campaign was fatal to few of Colonel Cameron's regi- 
ment ; but he was badly wounded, and the largest number of his men 
were wounded more or less severely. 

(1o be Continued). 


O'er Morven's blue mountains the gloaming is falling, 

Night's grey clouds are sleeping on lofty Ben More, 

Wee silver-ridged waves pour their music enthralling, 

Light dancing afar on the shell-studded shore : 
I love the calm beauties of gloaming's soft splendour, 

I love the dream songs of the wavelets at ]-lay, 
T revel in joys ever hallowed and tender, 

When wantonly wand'ring by Oban's sweet bay : 
By Oban's bonnie bay, 
Loved Oban's bonnie bay, 
There's no a spot in all the west 
Like Oban's bonnie bay. 

Low murm'ring the breeze o'er Dunolly is sweeping, 

Rocked gently, flow'rs joyously close their bright eyes, 
Slow-floating pale clouds on their night march are creeping, 

And deep is the blue of the star-blazoned skies : 
The moon o'er Ben Cruachan mildly is stealing, 

Cold-chasing the kisses of gloaming away, 
Her sceptre of light all its love is revealing, 

For throned are her glances in Oban's sweet bay : 
By Oban's bonnie bay, &c., &c. 

Night shadows in beauty of darkness are trailing, 

Deep fringed with a halo of glistering sheen, 
Far-sounding, the echoes of peace are prevailing 

In cadence that nurtures the soul to the scene : 
Tell me if on earth nature's virginal smilings 

Can ever be found in such gorgeous array ? 
! no, all alone in its beauteous beguilings, 

Supremely and purely glows Oban's swcefc bay : 
'Tis Oban's bonnie bay, fec., &c. 





UPON the defeat of the Royal forces in Carolina, related in a previous 

article, Captain M 'Arthur of the Highland Regiment of Volunteers, was 

apprehended and committed to the county jail in the town of Cross-Creek. 

But the gallant officer determined to make a death grasp for effecting his 

escape ; and happily for him the walls of his confinement were not of 

stone and mortar. In his lonely prison, awaiting his fate, and with 

horrid visions of death haunting him, he summons up his muscular 

strength and courage, and with incredible exertion he broke through the 

jail by night, and once more enjoyed the sweets of liberty. Having thus 

made his escape he soon found his way to the fair partner of his joys and 

sorrows. It needs hardly be said that her astonishment was only equalled 

by her raptures of joy. She, in fact, became so overpowered with the 

unexpected sight that she was for the moment quite overcome, and unable 

to comply with the proposal of taking an immediate flight from the 

enemy's country. She soon, however, regains her sober senses, and is 

quite able to grasp the reality of the situation, and fully prepared with 

mental nerve and courage to face the scenes of hardship and fatigue 

which lay before them. The thought of flight was, indeed, a hazardous 

one. The journey to the sea board was far and dangerous; roads 

were miserably constructed, and these, for the most part, had to be 

avoided; unbroken forests, immense swamps, and muddy creeks were 

almost impassable barriers ; human habitations were few and far between, 

and these few could scarcely be looked to as hospitable asylums ; enemies 

would be on the look out for the recapture of the " Old Tory," for whose 

head a tempting reward had been oftered ; and withal, the care of a tender 

infant lay heavy upon the parental hearts, and tended to impede their 

flight. Having this sea of troubles looming before them, the imminent 

dangers besetting their path, you can estimate the heroism of a woman 

who was prepared to brave them all. But when you further bear 

in mind that she had been bred in the ease and delicate refinements of 

a lairdly circle at home, you can at once conceive the hardships to be 

encountered vastly augumented, and the moral heriosm necessary for such 

an undertaking to be almost incredible, finding its parallel only in the life 

of her famous countrywoman, the immortal " Flora." Still, life is dear, 

and a desperate attempt must be made to preserve it she is ready for 

any proposal. So off they start at the dead hour of midnight, taking 

nothing but the scantiest supply of provisions, of which our heroine must 

be the bearer, while the hardy sire took his infant charge in his folded 

plaid over one shoulder, with the indispensable musket slung over the 

other. Thus equipped for the march, they trudge over the IHMV\ .-un<l, 

leaving the scattered town of Cross-Creek behind in the distance, and 

soon find themselves lost to all human vision in the midst of the dense 

forest. There is not a moment to lose ; and onward they speed under 


cover of night for miles and miles, and for a time keeping the main road 
to the coast. Daylight at length lightened their path, and bright sunrays 
are pouring through the forest. But that which had lightened the path 
of the weary fugitives had, at the same time, made wonderful disclosures 
"behind. The morning light had revealed to the astonished gaze of the 
keeper of the prison the flight of his captive. The consternation among 
the officials is easily imagined. A detachment of cavalry was speedily 
dispatched in pursuit ; a handsome reward was offered for the absconded 
rebel, and a most barbarous punishment was in reserve for him in the 
event of his being captured. With a knowledge of these facts, it will not 
be matter of surprise that the straits and perplexities of a released captive 
had already commenced. Who can fancy their terror when the noise of 
cavalry in the distance admonished them that the enemy was already in 
hot pursuit, and had taken the right scent. What could they do? 
Whither could they fly ? They dart off the road in an instant and began 
a race. But alas, of what use, for the tall pines of the forest could afford 
no shelter or concealment before the pursuers could reach the spot. In 
their extremity they change their course, running almost in the face of 
the foe. They rush into the under brush covert of a gum pond which 
crossed the road close by, and there, in terrible suspense, awaited their fate, 
up to the knees in water. In a few moments the equestrians, in full gallop, 
are within a gunshot of them. But on reaching the pond they slackened 
their speed, and all at once came to a dead halt ! Had they already 
discovered their prey ? In an instant their fears were relieved on this 
score. From their marshy lair they were able, imperfectly, to espy the 
foe, and they saw that the cause of halting was simply to water their 
panting steeds. They could also make out to hear the enemy's voice, and 
so far as they could gather, the subject was enough to inspire them with 
terror, for the escaped prisoner was evidently the exciting topic. Who 
could mistake the meaning of such detached phrases and epithets as these 
"Daring fellow," "Scotch dog," "British ship," and " Steel fix him." 
And who can realize the internal emotion of him whom they immediately 
and unmistakably concerned 1 But the fates being propitious, the posse 
of cavalry resumed their course, first in a slow pace, and afterwards in a 
lively canter, until they were out of sight and out of hearing. 

This hair-breadth. escape admonished pur hero that he must shift his 
course and avoid the usual route of communication with the coast. The 
thought struck him, that he would direct his course towards the Cape Fear 
Eiver, which lay some ten miles to the right ; feeling confident, at the 
same time, that his knowledge of the water in early days could now be 
made available, if lie could only find something in the shape of a boat. 
And, besides, he saw to his dismay that his fair partner in travel, however 
ardent in spirit, could not possibly hold out under the hardships incident to 
the long journey at first meditated. For the Cape Fear Eiver then they set 
off; and after a wearisome march, through swamp and marsh, brush and 
brier, to the great detriment of their scanty wardrobe and danger of life 
and limb, they reached the banks of that sluggish stream before the sun 
had set, foot sore and dispirited, exhausted and downcast. But what 
is their chance of a boat noAv 1 Alas, not even the tiniest craft could be 
seen. There is nothing for it but to camp in the open air all night and 


try to refresh their weary limbs and await to see what luck the following 
morn had in store. Fortunately for them the climate was warm, too 
much so indeed, as they had found, to their great discomfort, during the 
day that was now past. In their present homeless situation, however, it 
was rather opportune ; and there was nothing to fear, unless from the 
effects of heavy dew, or the expected invasion of snakes and musketeers. 
But for these there was a counteracting remedy. The thick foliage of a 
stately tree afforded ample protection from dew, while a blazing fire, struck 
from the musket flint, defied the approach of any infesting vermin or 
crawling reptiles, and also answered the needed purpose of setting to 
rights their hosiery department which had suffered so much during the 
day. Here they are snug and cosy, under the arching canopy, which 
nature had provided, and prepared to do fair justice to the scanty viands 
and refreshments in their possession, before betaking themselves to their 
nocturnal slumbers which nature so much craved. But can we take leave 
of our pilgrims for the night without taking a glance at the innocent babe 
as it lay upon the folded plaid in blissful ignorance of the cares and 
anxieties which racked the parental breast. The very thought of its 
sweet face and throbbing little heart as it breathed in unconscious repose 
under the open canopy of heaven, was enough to entwine a thousand new 
chords of affection around the heart of its keepers, like the clasping ivy 
around the tree which gave them shelter, and to nerve them anew, for its 
sake, for the rough and perilous journey upon which they had entered. 
The fond mother imprints a kiss upon its cheek, and moistens it with 
tears of mingled joy and grief, and clasping it to her bosoin is instantly 
absorbed in the sweet embrace of Morpheus. The hardy sire, it was 
agreed, would keep the first watch and take his rest in turn, the latter 
part of the night. He is now virtually alone, in deep and pensive 
meditation. He surveys with tender solicitude his precious charge, which 
was dearer to him than his own life, and for whose sake he would risk 
ten lives. He paces the sward during the night watches. He meditates 
his plans for the following day. He deliberates and schemes how he can 
take advantage of the flowing sheet of water before him, for the more easy 
conveyance of his precious belongings. The mode of travel hitherto 
adopted, he saw, to be simply impossible. The delay involved might be 
ruinous to his hopes. With these cogitations he sat 'down, without bring- 
ing any plan to maturity. He gazed at the burning embers as if in a 
reverie, and as he gazed he thought he had seen, either by actual vision 
or by " the second sight," in which he was a firm believer, the form of a 
canoe with a single sable steersman coming to his resciie. He felt tempted 
to communicate the vision to his sleeping partner j but, thinking it unkind 
to disturb her slumbers, he desists from his resolution, . reclines on the 
ground, and without intending it, lie falls fast asleep. But imagine his 
astonishment and alarm when he came to consciousness, to find that he 
had slept for three full hours without interruption. He could hardly 
realize it, the interval seemed like an instant. However, all was well ; 
his wife and babe were still enjoying unbroken rest, and no foe had dis- 
covered their retreat; and withal, the gladsome light of day is now 
breaking in around them and eclipsing the glare of the smouldering 
embers. Up starts our hero much refreshed and invigorated, and exult- 


ing in surprising buoyancy of spirit for running the race of the new day 
now ushering in. He withdraws a gunshot from the camp ; and what 
does he descry in the grey dawn but, apparently, a small skiff with a single 
rower crossing the river towards them, but a short distance down the 
stream. The advancing light of day soon confirmed his hopes. He at 
once started in the direction of the skiff, having armed himself with his 
loaded musket, and resolved to get possession of it by fair means or by 
foul. A few minutes brought him to the spot, and to his great astonish- 
ment he found himself in the undisputed possession of the object of his 
wishes, a tiny little canoe drawn, up on the beach. In connection with 
the night's vision he would have positively declared that there was some- 
thing supernatural in the affair, but having marked the bare footprints of 
its late occupant on the muddy soil, and heard the rustling of leaves in 
the distance, calling attention to the woolly head of its owner getting out 
of sight through the bush, and making his way for a neighbouring 
plantation. He could explain the event upon strict natural principles. 
The happy coincidence, however, filled him with emotions of joy, in so 
readily securing the means of an easier and more expeditious transit. He 
retraces his steps and joins his little circle, and in joyous ecstacy relates to 
his sympathetic spouse, just arousod from her long slumbers, the tenor of 
his lucky adventure. There is now no time to lose. The crimson rays 
of the rising sun peering through a dense morning atmosphere and a 
dense forest, are reflected upon the surface of the stream to which they 
are about to commit their fortune, and admonish them to be off. They 
break their fast upon the remnants of the dry morsels with which they 
last appeased their hunger. This dispatched, they hasten to the beach, 
and speedily embark, seating the'mselves with the utmost caution in the 
narrow hull, which good luck and Sambo had. placed at their disposal, and 
' with less apprehension of danger from winds and waves than from the 
angry billows of human passion. A push from the shore and the voyage is 
fairly and auspiciously begun, the good lady seated in the prow in charge 
of the tender object of her unremitting care, and giving it the shelter of 
her parasol from the advancing rays of the sun, and the skilful Palinurus 
himself, squatted in the stern, with a small paddle in hand, giving alternate 
strokes, first to the right and then to the left, and thus, with the aid of 
the slow current propelling his diminutive barque at the rate of about six 
knots an hour, and enjoying the simultaneous pleasure of " paddling his 
own canoe." Onward they glide, smoothly and pleasantly, over fche un- 
ruffled water, the steersman taking occasional rests from his monotonous 
strokes, while having the satisfaction of noting some progress by the flow 
of the current. Thus, hours passed away without the occurrence of any- 
thing worth noting, except the happy reflection that their memorable 
encampment was left several leagues in the distance. But lo ! here is the 
first interruption to their navigation! About the hour of noon a mastless 
hull is seen in the distance. Their first impulse was fear, but this was 
soon dispelled on discovering it to be a flat or " pole boat," without sail 
or rigging, used for the conveyance of merchandise to the head of naviga- 
tion, and propelled by long poles which the hardy craftsmen handled with 
great dexterity. It was, in fact, the steamer of the day, creating upon 
its arrival the same stir and bustle that is. now caused by its more agree- 


able and efficient substitute, the " Flora Macdonald." The sight of this 
advancing craft, however, suggested the necessity of extreme caution, and 
of getting out of its way for a time. The Highland Eoyalist felt greatly 
tempted to wait and hail the crew, whom he felt pretty sure to be his 
own friendly countrymen, and who, like their sires, in the case of Prince 
Charlie, thirty years before, would scorn to betray their brother Celt, even 
for all the gold of Carolina. Still, like the Eoyal outlaw in his wander- 
ings, he also deemed it more prudent to conceal his Avhereabouts even from 
his most confidential friends. He at once quits the river, and thus for a 
good while suspends his navigation. He takes special precaution to secure 
his little transport by drawing it a considerable distance from the water, 
a feat which required no great effort. The party stroll out of the way, 
and up the rising beach, watching for a time the tardy movement of the 
" flat." Tired of this they continue their slow ramble further into the 
interior, in hopes, at the same time, of making some accidental discovery 
by which to replenish their commissariat, which was quite empty, and 
made their steps faint and feeble, for it was now considerably past noon. 
As "fortune favours the brave" they did succeed in making a discovery. 
They saw the " opening " of a small plantation in the forest, an event 
which, in Carolina, is hailed with immense satisfaction by those who 
chance to lose their way in the woods, as suggestive of kindness and 
hospitality. Nothing short of such a treatment would be expected by 
our adventurers as a matter of course, if they could only afford to throw 
themselves upon the hospitality of settlers. In their situation, however, 
they must take their bearings with anxious circumspection, and weigh 
the consequences of the possibility of their falling into the hands of foes. 
But here, all of a sudden, their path is intercepted by the actual presence of 
a formidable foe. One of the pursuers ? No, but one equally defiant. 
It is a huge serpent of the " Whip snake " species, which never gives 
way, but always takes a bold and defiant stand. It took its stand about 
fifty yards a-head, ready for -battle, its head, and about a yard of its 
length, in semi-erect posture, and displaying every sign of its proverbial 
enmity to Adam's race. It has no poison, but its mode of attack is still 
more horrible, by throwing itself with electric speed in coils around its 
antagonist, tight as the strongest cord, and lashing with a yard of its 
tail, till it puts its combatant to death. Knowing its nature, the assailed 
levels his piece, and in an instant leaves the assailant turning a thousand 
somergaults until^its strength is spent, and, is at last, wriggling on the 


( To be Continued.) 

THE LESSONS IN GAELIC GRAMMAR, which appeared in the Highlander, 
by LACHLAN MACBEAN, are, we understand, going through the press, and 
will be published shortly. Mr Macbean is a Celtic student of great persever- 
ance and promise, and deserves encouragement. 




"WELL done the Brocair and his warm-hearted Mary." "Not a bad 
sapling either, and well plied." "What a fine story." "What fine 
Legends? and what a lot you know sir!" addressing Norman, was the 
general chorus of the circle. " Your poem now if you please sir, on theli 
elopement of Barbara Grant from Urquhart Castle with young Colin,' 
Mackenzie of Kintail ? " 

"I may as well tell you," says Norman, "who these Grants and 
Mackenzies were, that you may the better understand my bit poem, and 
take a livelier interest in it, as I proceed with its recitation. 

"John Grant, the elder son of John of Freuchie, and tenth laird, 
obtained four charters under the great seal, all dated 3d December 1509, 
of various lands, among which were Urquhart and Glenmorriston. Hisj 
eldest son James, called (from his daring character) Seumas nan Creach, j 
was much employed during the reign of James V. in settling insurrections,^ 
in the North. His lands in Urquhart were, in 1513, laid waste by the} 
adherents of the Lord of the Isles, and again, by Clanranald in 1544, when 
he took possession of the castle. 

" His elder son John, called Ian Baold or the Gentle, was a strenous 
promoter of the Reformation, and a member of the Parliament which, ia-j 
1650, abolished Popery. By his first wife, Margaret Stewart, daughter df| 
the Duke of Athol, he had two daughters and two sons, Duncan and! 
Patrick. The latter was ancestor of the Grants of Eothiemurchus ; John] 
died in 1585. 

K Colin Mackenzie, llth chief, son of Kenneth Mackenzie of Kintail, 
fought on the side of Queen Mary at the Battle of Langside, for which heij 
obtained remission in August 1569. He, and Donald Gormeson Macdonald 
of Skye, were forced, in presence of the Regent Moray and the Privy 
Council at Perth to settle their clan feuds. On this occasion Moray acted 
as mediator. Colin was a Privy Councillor of James VI. He died 14th 
January 1594. 

"His first wife was Barbara, daughter of Grant of Grant, referred to in 
the poem. His second wife was Mary, daughter of Roderick Mackenzie' 
of Davoch Maluak. From Barbara Grant came this family name, so 
common in the families of the descendants of Colin Mackenzie. Colin 
was the father of Kenneth, created Lord Mackenzie of Kintail by patent, 
in November 1609. From Colin sprang Sir Roderick Mackenzie of 
Tarbat, ancestor of the Earls of Cromarty, Colin ancestor of the Macken- 
zies of Kennock and Pitlundie, and Alexander ancestor of the Mackenzies 
of Kilcoy. From Alexander, by his second marriage, came the Mackenziea 
of Gairloch, Applecross, Coul, Delvin, Assynt, and others." 

Norman proceeded with his poem, delighting, and calling forth the 
approval of his audience at the end of every stanza. The following is an 
English and faithful version : 



A sunny smile is gilding every leaf ; 

A summer's sun is glowing all the sky : 
The wild bees droning hum, so sweetly brief, 

Floats softly on the light breeze stealing by. 
Round Urquhart's towers the clinging ivy creeps, 

Veiling the walls fast crumbling to decay ; 
Yet o'er them, while the trembling aspen weeps, 

The rose and hawthorn blossom bright and gay ; 
And sith that none may mock the mighty dead, 

Flora, her mantle o'er the corpse has spread. 

Old Urquhart's towers look calmly proudly down, 

Upon a scene all lovely passing fair ; 
Not even the tempest's shadow deep'ning frown 

Can break the charm of radiant beauty there. 
The shaded silence of the dark green groves, 

The emerald bank so fragrant, gowan-decked ; 
The joyous swelling notes of feathered loves, 

The lake's soft rippling music all unchecked ; 
The gorgeous wild flowers o'er the pathways flung, 

By potent spell of Nature's sweet May QueeH, 
The careless branch-formed arches flowing hung 

With woodbine gay and myrtle glossy green : 
The deep still shades of cushat haunted woods 

Sombring the brightness of the clear blue sky ! 
And screening oft Loch Ness save when its floods, 

Like bright eyed beauty's glances, coy and shy, 
Peep forth in glistening flash thro' openings green 

In brilliant blue and radiant silver sheen. 

Would that those towers, those crumbling walla, could tell 

The stirring tales of pomp and bye-gone years 
Of war and feud, in glen or heath clad fell, 

Of love and beauty, tyranny and tears ; 
What knight the laurel wreath of vict'ry wore ? 

What victim of a ruthless, savage might, 
Qied terribly a hundred deaths, his manhood's son, 

His brightest hopes, all crushed in endless night ? 
Time was, when floated proudly borne on high 

A king's broad banner from the flagstaff tower 
When beauty's song and beauty's tender sigh, 

The night breeze stole entranced from beauty's bower. 
Time was when lady fair and lord and knight, 

The ruby wine from mantling goblets quaffed ; 
In festal hall, and woke the ear of night 

With song and dance, till e'en the moodiest laughtd. 
Time was, when wild Mealfourvonie afar 

Flung broad and wide, its summons to the war ; 
And dark Loch Ness, a mirrored burning beam, 

Threw back the flashes of the battle gleam. 
All ! all is o'er and gone, like evening's sigh, 

Or flashing stars that only gleam to di. 


The banner waves on Urquhart's towers ; 

The bagpipe peals through Urquhart's bowers ; 

Not for the war, no martial sound 

Of gathering foemen spreads around, 

Nor to the chase, that day the lord 

Sat joyous at the festive board. 

That day a Southern baron's heir 

Had sought as bride his daughter fa,ir ; 

Waiting, there stood in Urquhart's hall 

Server and page and seneschal. 

The Gothic hall with trophies graced, 

Of chase and battle interlaced, 

Echoed with sounds of lordly cheer : 

While joyous notes fell on the ear. 

The feast was spread in Urquhart hall, 

And beauty graced the mazy ball ; 

With sparkling eyes and snood bound hair, 

And swan like bosoms, pearly fair. 

On wings of joy the happy hours 

Flew quickly past in Urquhart's towers ; 

Till toil and care-worn hearts gleamed high 

Like sun-bursts in an April sky. 

Night's shadowy hours had passed away, 

The fleet roe deer had brushed away 

The dewdrop from its chalice fair. 

The lark was carolling in air 

The blue mist rising from the lake 

Was curling over tree and brake ; 

When Urquhart's guest sought Urquhart's lord 

Before once more he graced the board ; 

And all impatient of delay 

Begged he would name the happy day ; 

When as his own by holy band, 

His own should be his daughter's hand. 

'Twas fixed Alas ! that ought should dim 

Joy's sparkling cup filled to the brim ! 

Pity ! that morning's blushing rose 

Should dread the storms of evening's close, 

Or summer rain clouds burst and fall, 

Or music's tones up sadness call ; 

Or dreams that float athwart the brain, 

Like those vague wanderings of pain, 

That oft the anxious bosom press ; 

When all around seems happiness, 

Who hath not oft when hope deferred, 

Hath rapt the doubting heart in sorrow, 

Felt all his troubled fancies stirred 

Some presage of despair to borrow ? 

With grim uncertainty oppressed, 

Thus felt and looked the wooer guest. 

The dewdrop hung on flower and brake, 
The hills were mirrored in the lake, 
The songsters of the day were dumb, 
The wandering bee had ceased to hum ; 
And silent, beautiful, and blessed, 
All nature was absorbed in rest. 


In peace below and peace above, 

While every zephyr breathed of love, 

In gentle sighs as if to shed 

Its inspiration o'er her head 

And cast oe'r her angelic face 

That loveliness, that matchless grace, 

That innocence, which renders youth 

The symbol of celestial truth ; 

Who from the window of a tower 

Gazed sadly through the twilight hour, 

Sighing with anxious dread, "to-morrow, 

One word may bring an age of sorrow, 

One accent of my faltering voice 

Will cast my fate against my choice. 

Ah me ! how swells this heart of mine, 

How dim the shadowy glass of time ? " 

With moistened eyes and fear full heart, 

The maiden hastening to depart 

Threw o'er the water's rolling maze 

A lingering dreamy listless gaze, 

And there where bends the forest green 

With silvery lake and sky between, 

A single warrior met her view 

In belted plaid and bonnet blue. 

His brow one eagle's feather bore, 

His right hand held his good claymore. 

" Ah me ! " the lovely maiden sighed, 

" One more to greet the heartless bride, 

One more to see me cast away. 

A heart as chill and dead as clay, 

A heart that must through life in vain 

Chafe with the shackles of my chain." 

Again the sun's rays sank to rest 
Behind the curtains of the west ; 
And night on twilight's wings of grey, 
O'er hill and loch assumed her sway. 
The banquet hall with dazzling light 
Blazed with the sconce and torches bright. 
The festive board was nobly crowned, 
The wine cup passing quickly round. 
To valiant men and ladies fair 
Flashing with jewels rich and rare : 
While music's soul in whispering sighs 
Breathed round her softest melodies. 
Each ruffled brow was smoothed in peace, 
Nor suffered dance nor lay to cease, 
The minstrels woke their loudest strains, 
The dancers sped their swiftest trains. 
Loud swelled the sounds of joy on high 
And gladness filled the lover's eye, 
When quick the gate-horn's piercing blast 
Aside the softer music cast. 

The folding doors flew open to the wall 
And quick the stranger strode into the hall, 
In youth's first strength and gallant bearing high, 
In look the very flower of chivalry. 


His blue eye bright, his cheek like opening flmvrr, 
Ruddy as ever decked, e'en May's sweet bower, 
His form as light and lithe as mountain deer, 
In graceful motion modestly drew near ; 
Blushing, with crested bonnet in his hand, 
Yet through his blushes seeming to command, 
" My lord," said he, "a stranger craves to share 
Thy hospitable roof and eke thy fare 
For but one night, for with the morning ray 
1 must be onward on my distant way." 
"We part not thus ; I bid thee welcome come, 
Welcome again. Pray make my home thy home, 
From maid to wife the morn my daughter makes 
She shall beseech thy stay for all our sakes ; 
And though unknown by lineage and by birth 
I'll ask them not, come join our day of mirth." 

With eye like summer's lightning ray, 

He glanced o'er all the joyous scene, 

Guiding his steps love winged his way 

Where sat the maiden. Beauty's queen, 

The thoughts within his bosom raised 

Words are so weak they cannot tell, 

Nor all his rapture as he gazed 

On her beloved so long, so well, 

She felt the captive of his power ; 

And like the bird in evil hour 

Which tries in vain to further flee ; 

And cowering folds its drooping wing 

So met the maiden timorously, 

Him who would hope deliverance bring. 

Upon her ear his gentle voice 

Fell like the whisper of the breeze, 

That used to bid her heart rejoice 

As round her home it fanned the trees, 

Like timid fawn her startled look, 

Deep to the chieftain's bosom spoke. 

Bowing he clasped her trembling hand 

Nestling in his her hand remained, 

Resigned, but pleading love's command, 

Her eyes looked all his will constrained. 

Then with a courteous knightly air 

He led her through the assembled fair, 

And soothed with words whose sweetneu stole 

All deeply to the maiden's soul, 

And almost hushed those fears to rest 

Which late alarmed her virgin breast. 

High rose the revels in the castle towers : 
And flew on joyous wing the gladsome hours; 
Seated aloft the bards with harp and voice 
Gave song or tale as suited Urquhart's choice ; 
Now softly singing love's complete control, 
Now rousing strains to stir the martial soul ; 
Now wondrous tales of kelpies, elves, and gnomes, 
Of knights and fairies and their fairy homes ; 
Of wild night cruises on the western tide, 
Of mad pursuit of Shona's spectral bride. 


Each had his part assigned to add a zest, 
Or aid the splendour of the sumptuous feast, 
When rose the bardic chief and straight advanced, 
While round the hushed assembly quick he glanced, 
And bowing to the maid he swept the chorda 
As if he felt how weighty were his words. 


Knowest thou the land where the sun loves to rest 

Ere he journeys afar, o'er the Western main, 
Where the storm spirits ride on the waves hissing crest 

And the raving winds shout forth their mocking refrain. 

Like an emerald set in the midst of the waves 
Are the green vales of Lewis the birth-place of worth, 

Of the lovely, the loving, the true and the brave, 
'Tis the eagle king's eyrie far, far, in the north. 

Why floats the broad banner of bold Cabar-Feigh, 
Past Loch Alsh and Loch Carron, Gairloch and Tormore, 

Past castle and cottage, past headland and bay, 
Past forest and wild wood by rock and by shore ? 

Lonely the eagle king roams from his clansmen, 

Kindly he comes to our 'sweet lovely vale, 
Then welcome Mhic Coinnich with warm hearts and hands then, 

Thou'rt welcome Mhic Coinnich, young chief of Kintail. 

The smiles that mantled o'er her lips 
Were like the sun's h'rst ray that tips 
With burnished gold the mountain brow, 
Flushing her cheek with love's bright glow ; 
And his was not the heart that lies ; 
For in the flash of his proud eyes 
His truth and love as clearly shown 
As in the mirror of her own. 
Mysterious love who can control 
Thy mighty power within the soul 
Of such as own thy power in all 
Its purity and feel its thrall. 

Now springs the morn in living light 
O'er nature's charms in beauty bright, 
Bidding each spangled floweret rise 
And wave abroad its verdant dyes. 
Silvering alike the sparkling tides, 
Or brattling burns on mountain sides 
Quaffing the dew that fell by night 
Upon the lily's bosom white, 
Chasing the night o'er hill and lake 
With joyous shouts, awake, awake. 

And Urquhart's guest and Urquhart's lord 

Again surround the festive board, 

In all the pomp and state of birth, 

In joy and happiness and mirth ; 

Waiting the coming of the bride, 

The bridegroom's hope, her father's pride. 


But where was she 1 Her couch unpressed, 

Woke gloomy fears and thoughts distressed. 

They searched in tower, and sought in hall, 

By mountain tarn, and waterfall, 

In brake, on hill, in gloomy wood, 

And o'er the strand of Ness' dark flood ; 

But fruitless sought. Then where was he, 

Chief of the Minch's stormy sea ? 

Soon as the moon from darkness round 

Broke on the silence all profound, 

Long ere a gleam of morning light 

Had tipped Mealfourvonie's cloud height, 

Chieftain and bride had fled together, 

O'er hills, through moors and blooming heather, 

: er sunny braes to green Glenshiel, 

Where clansmen bold and true and leal, 

With joyous shouts the maiden hail, 

" Ceud millefailt, 'bhan-tighearn Chinntail." 





SIR, I have read the article [in the Celtic Magazine] on the teaching of 
Gaelic in Highland Schools with much interest. 

I agree very much in the view it takes. There can be no doubt whatever 
that the joint use and teaching of two languages has in itself a highly educa- 
ing influence. The habit of translating from one language to the other tends 
to bring out the intelligence of the child, and to increase his powers, both of 
thought and of expression. 

But the extent to which this system can, or ought to be, insisted upon, 
must depend very much on the general familiarity of the children with 
Gaelic in their own homes, and this varies in every parish. 

Where the homes are not really and generally Gaelic it cannot be insisted 
on ; and every year the number of such parishes is decreasing. Your 
obedient servant, ARGYLL. 



For contemplation he, and Talour formed : 
For softness she, and sweet attractive grace. 

To give an exact description of the Ossianic ladies, of their social position, 
and the estimation in which they were held by their contemporaries is 
now impossible. Not only is Celtic nature entirely changed since then, 
but the very appellatives applied to females in Ossianic compositions are 
untranslatable into English. " Bean " may be Englished wife, woman, 
spouse ; " gaol " nearly means love or loved one ; but how shall we trans- 
late an oigh, or how express the inexpressible sweetness and delicate 
feeling of ainnir, or the tender aifection applied in the phrase mo run ? 
Yet our knowledge of ancient Celtic female matters largely depends on a 
proper understanding of such and similar appellatives. Tyros in Celtic 
affairs know that the practice of giving meaningless names is with us 
a custom acquired from the polished nations around. When, therefore, we 
read the name of a beauty of ancient Caledon we should know something 
of her character or appearance. Sucli names as Oilavina, smooth-handed 
maid; Malvina, smooth-browed; Crimina, the tender-hearted; Crimora, 
the large-hearted ; Sulmalla, languid eyes ; and Vinvela, melodious 
mouth, tell their own tale of the more conspicuous charms of the bearer, 
and of the female qualities which pleased the Fingallian gallant. 

We have said that Celtic nature is different from what it was ; nor is 
that wonderful when we consider the vast changes that have taken place 
in our education and circumstances. The race has within the past two 
hundred years been subjected to such powerful alterative circumstances 
that it is only by reading such ancient compositions as Ossian's poems 
that we can have any idea of what the world of Celtic thought was sixteen 
or twenty centuries ago. The Caledonian of to-day bears about as much 
resemblance to the Feinne of antiquity as a modern Italian bears to the 
Eomans of the Republic. Nineteenth century Highlanders may be called 
Celts as far as blood is concerned ; morally they are Hebrews ; mentally 
they are Greeks ; in manners they are English. That we have, in some 
things, gained by the change is unquestionable ; that in many things we 
have deteriorated is certain. But, putting aside all moral and intellectual 
questions, there is a solemnity, a pathos, and a sensitiveness to the in- 
fluences of nature in the old Celtic character which have for us a powerful 
and pleasant fascination. The ladies not only had their full share of this 
pathos and plaintiveness, but were from their more delicate constitution 
more open to receive impressions from nature. We believe that the 
influences of " mountains, winds, and cataracts," contributed considerably 
to a corresponding purity and greatness in their characters. This educa- 
tion of nature along with their appreciation of the bravery of their gentle- 
men friends led them to exhibit such heroism of conduct and grandeur of 
character that it is now sceptically questioned whether such beings could 
exist after the Fall. 


Perhaps among no other people was the characteristic tenderness and 
.self-sacrificing affection of woman displayed so frequently and so well as 
among the Feinne. At any rate Ossian, the poet of the period, sang of 
numerous and beautiful examples of female devotion and devotedness. 
And good cause he had to speak well of the sex, with the faithful Malvina 
attending on his blind and lonely old age with such unwavering patience 
and fidelity as only a woman and a Fingallian woman could exhibit. Our 
admiration of this lady's labour of love is not diminished but increased 
by the thought that it was all educed by the memory of her affection for 
his shortlived son. 

To show that this strength of affection had nothing to do with mere 
feminine impressibility, or a helpless tendency to form romantic attachments, 
but was a natural and inherent female virtue, let us instance a story of 
sisterly love from the tale of Finan and Lorma. Lorma sees her brother's 
skiff swamped within a short distance of the shore. She shrieks and 
rushes to the beach. " The sea had shrunk from a dark rock. To its tops 
are the steps of the maid. Her looks and her cries are toward the deep. 
' My brother, my only brother of love, dost thou not hear thy sister ? ' 
Dim appears a dark spot on the top of a stormy wave 'Is that the 
wandering ooze, or is it thou my brother ? ' " His two grey dogs rush into 
the sea and bring him ashore. " Lorma bore her brother to the rock. 
' Here,' he faintly said, ' let me for a little rest for my strength is failed.' 
She wrapt her robe about his breast and made his pillow of the weeds that 
were driest. ' Let my brother of love sleep for his eyes are heavy. . . 
But the flies of night disturb thee, Finan. How shall I keep them away ? 
Thy face with my own I'll softly cover ; but I will not dispel thy slumber. 
Ah ! my brother thou art cold. Thou hast no breath thou art dead ! 
My brother! my brother!' Her cries ascend on the rock. . . 
The sea grows and she sees it not. . . . The gathering wave lifts my 
children from the rock; it tosses them on its breast to the shore. 
There dark rocks meet them with their force, and the side of Lorma is 
torn. Her blood tinges the waves j her soul is on the same blast with 

The subject of antenuptial courtship is sufficiently hackneyed ; but 
what poet would condescend to sing of anything so unromantic as the 
loves of married life ? But it is the unabating affection of the connubial 
state which Ossian loves to celebrate. The tender and romantic feelings 
which surround the words, wooer, sweetheart, courtship, he associates with 
husband, wife, conjugal affection. And, nos judice, the affection of 
husband and wife is in itself more excellent and more likely to be sincere 
than the impulsive and often affected affection of suitor and sweetheart. 
It is beautiful to read of an aged couple, manifesting with unchanging 
freshness, the same gentleness, delicacy, devotedness, and admiration which 
they showed when they plighted their troth years before. Of many ex- 
amples of such given by Ossian we select that of Evirchoma, the wife of 
Gaul. Gaul, one of the principal chiefs of Fingal, landing alone on a hostile 
isle, was surrounded, mortally wounded, and left to die by the savage 
islanders. All that night and next day his wife anxiously waits for him 
at home. " Evening comes, but no dark ship is seen light-bounding over 


the deep. The soul of Evirchoma is mournful." At last she sets out in 
quest of him and finds him dying alone, but talking of her in his last 
soliloquy. " 'Pleasant in thy valley of roes, be thy dreams Evirchoma ! 
let no thoughts of Gaul disturb thee. His pains are forgot when the 
dreams of his love are pleasant.' ' And dost thou think thy love could 
sleep and her Gaul in pain ? Dost thou think the dreams of Evirchoma 
could be pleasant while thou wert absent ? But how shall I relieve thee 
Gaul ; or where shall Evirchoma find food in the land of foes 1 ... 
These breasts shall supply, this night, thy soul. To-morrow we shall be 
safe on Strumon's shore.' ' Loveliest of thy race,' said Gaul, 'retire thou 
to Struinon's shore. Bid the warriors of Morven raise my tomb beneath 
this tall tree. The stranger will see it as he looks around him from his 
watery course. Sighing he will say There is all that remains of the 
mighty.' ' And here too shall be all that remains of the fair ; for I will 
sleep in the same tomb with my love. But let me bear thee to the skiff. 
Come, the burden of my love will be light. Evirchoma will be strong 
when her Gaul is in danger. Give me that spear, it will support on the 
shore my steps.' She bore him to her skiff. She struggled all night 
with the wave. The parting stars beheld the decay of her strength why 
should Ossian remember all the griefs that are past ? Their memory is 
mournfully pleasant, but his tears would fail." Tender and self-sacrificing 
as was the love of Evirchoma, it may be necesssary to remark that it was 
not the passion of a sentimental girl, but the matured love of a full-blown 
woman, for the veteran warrior with whom she had shared many a joy 
and sorrow. 

Much as we admire the ladies of Ossian, we admit that their conduct 
in affaires de cceur was not supernaturally faultless. They were human, 
and wherever human ladies are found, coquetting, jilting, and other un- 
amiable aberrations are possible. Similar things are certainly noticed as 
taking place among the Fingallians. Yet it is but just to add that that 
basest and sordidest traffic yclept, " the commerce of love " was among 
them unknown. Ladies of high rank were frequently contested for in public 
tournament, and fathers and guardians claimed the right to give maidens 
in marriage. But, to their credit be it said, those who thus nolens volem 
became wives were never wanting in affection and dutifulness to their 
husbands. As might be expected, love at first sight was no rare thing 
among the Feinne. 

We fear Mrs Grundy would discover an awful want of propriety in 
the then girls of the period. They were modest and sensible enough, but 
there was about them an unusual want of staidness and primness ; why, 
on more than one occasion we read of these young ladies going out alone 
to hunt, row, or travel. Often we read of warriors being warned of 
danger by ladies to whom they were not previously introduced. When 
convenient they scrupled not to lend the civilizing and elevating influence 
of their presence at public feasts. Fingallian ladies were not straitlaced 
or affected, but we think no one could discover anything unchaste or in- 
decorous in the conduct or conversation of the worst of them. 

An essay on ladies, without mentioning their personal appeuraiuv, 
would be like a performance of Hamlet without the Hamlet part. And 


yet we cannot trust ourselves to give even a general idea of their personal 
attractions, or to say whether blonde, brunette, or any other type was the 
dominant style. We shall, therefore, merely quote the following picture 
of a beau-ty, and remark that it bears a close resemblance to other Ossianic 
heroines : 

" She shone like a bright star over the broken edge of a cloud. White 
were the rows within her lips ; and like the down of the mountain, under 
her new robe was her skin. Circle on circle formed her fairest neck. Like 
hills beneath their soft snowy fleeces rose her two breasts of love. The 
melody of music was in her voice. The rose beside her lip was not red ; 
nor white beside her hand the foam of streams. Maid of Gormluba, who 
can describe thy beauty ! Thy eyebrows mild and narrow were of a 
darkish hue ; thy cheeks were like the red berries of the mountain ash. 
Around them were scattered the blossoming flowers on the bough of 
spring. The yellow hair of Civadona was like the gilded mountain tops, 
when golden clouds look down upon it after the sun has retired. Her 
eyes were bright as sunbeams ; and altogether perfect was the form of the 
fair. Heroes beheld and blessed her." How the Fingallian lady dressed 
we cannot describe in detail, inasmuch as none of their fashion-plates or 
dressmakers' guides are extant. Their principal garment appears to have 
been a loose robe that hung in flowing folds from waste to ankle. Over 
this was worn the national toga or breacan of brilliant colours. A snow- 
white linen head-dress was added, but whether it hung in the shape of 
a veil, or was gathered up into a turban we cannot now be certain. It is 
probable, however, that this last article was usually dispensed with by the 
younger females. 

Their general education appears to have been well looked after. Most, 
if not all of them, were well up in bardic literature. Poetic composition, 
vocal and instrumental music, and a skilful use of the bow were among 
their accomplishments. 

Regarding the social and domestic positions of Highland ladies in 
Ossianic times, we will only remark that at a time when in many places 
woman was treated as a born slave, and when, even in most European 
countries, she occupied a semi-serfish position, the treatment of Caledonian 
females reflected credit on both sexes. Ossian refers to this fact with 
pride, and contrasts Feinan civilization with the rude manners of Scandina- 
via. " The maids are not shut in our caves of streams. They toss not their 
white arms alone. They bend, fair within their locks, above the harps of 
Selma. Their voice is not in the desert wild. We melt along the 
pleasing sound." If we wish to know the regard in which the sex was 
held of the Feinne, let us read their lament when the flower of their ladies 
were lost in the Fall of Tura. " We turn to the ruin our back. We 
bend in sadness over our spears, and loudly bewail our loss. Our hundred 
helmets and our hundred bossy shields, our coats of mail and swords of 
light ; our hundred hounds, the children of the chase ; our studded reins, 
the rulers of proud steeds ; and all our banners, red-green meteors that 
streamed in air all these were that day forgot ; no hero remembered that 
they were in the hall. The burst of our grief was for our hundred fair. 
. . . . The days of many heroes in their darkly-silent heath were 


few and mournful. They pined away like green leaves over which the 
mildew hath passed ; they sink in silence amidst the mossy heath of the 

We have presumed to take up the space of the Celtic Magazine with 
this matter, because we think it of importance, not only to ladies but to 
the whole community. When poets speak of ladies being " adored " they 
express not a poetic hyperbole but a literal fact. At any rate it is a fact 
that they are more generally and more thoroughly adored than any other 
Adorable that ever was worshipped. It is also a fact that the love-struck 
adorer is more influenced by the opinions or whims of his particular god- 
dess, than the generality of worshippers are by the laws of their Deity ; 
and further, it is another fact that it is the best portion of mankind who 
are most influenced by the other sex, and it is during the best part of their 
lives that their thraldom is most complete and their obedience most 
enthusiastic. It is of the utmost importance then that I/he power of these 
divinities should be for good in our midst, and that their influence should 
be ennobling and elevating, and, not debasing and brutalising. 

If it be asked how are we to ensure the ennobling effects of the in- 
fluence of the sex, we answer let them and us read Ossian's poems, and 
study the state of society therein depicted until we understand its beauty 
and simplicity, and as far as possible mould modern society after that 
pattern. There are many other writings, sacred and secular, which are 
useful and necessary, but in this matter we believe in Celtic instruction 
for Celts. There is much truth in what a later poet writes of our 

But Ossian's song devoid of muse or art, 
Exalts the soul and melts the roughest heart, 
The voice of nature dictates every line, 
IB every thought unequalled beauties shine. 
Read him, ye fair, he teaches virtuous lore, 
His tender notes should tender bosoms move. 



REMINISCENCES, <kc., OF DUOALD BUCHANAN, with, his Spiritual Songt, and 
an English Version of them by the Rev. A. SINCLAIR, A.M. Edinburgh, 1875. 

THIS new edition of the poems of Dugald Buchanan will secure for Mr 
Sinclair the thanks of every lover of the life and poetry of that great 
poet. To earnest minds who are interested in the mental struggles 
through which lofty minds often pass to inward tranquility, and to actions 
in which their inmost convictions are embodied, Mr Sinclair's account 
of the history of Buchanan's spiritual life will be very welcome. That 
history is relieved now and then by incidents drawn from the outward 
career of the poet. That caroor was not very varied, but still il iwrul-; 
much, that we are grateful fur knowing. Wo are thus helped to see 


the influences under which the mind of Buchanan was quickened an 
nourished into that splendid power of thought and feeling which both hi 
autobiography and poems so signally display. To those who are unabl 
to read Buchanan's own account of his life in the rich sappy language c 
the original, we cordially recommend the extracts taken from it an 
translated by Mr Sinclair, who connects them by a narrative of his own. 

Mr Sinclair gives us also the Gaelic poems printed in a clear bol 
type a great improvement in this respect on the small print of tt 
older editions. We notice also some slight grammatical changes, some c 
which are open to doubt. Here and there the punctuation too is at faul 
joining what should be detached, and vice versa. 

Mr Sinclair has undertaken a difficult task in translating Buchana 
into English, whether into prose or verse. It is said that only a poet ca 
translate a poet, as he alone can preserve the poetic flavour in pourin 
poetry from one vessel to another. Even then it is seldom that th 
original can be seen to advantage. Mr Sinclair's metrical version of th 
Skull is not without merit of a kind, but so far from being Buchanan' 
poem in a new dress, it can scarcely be called that poem at all, any moi 
than a fairy changeling, is the real plump genuine baby. 

In his prose version the translator has frequently caught very happil 
the fine essence of the original, so far as the bard's actual thought is cor 
cerned. Its warm colouring of course disappears. At other times we ai 
obliged to say that the translator neither does justice to himself nor hi 
author. Why should he so frequently make what is but a clause in th 
original, a complete sentence in English ? He thus makes it impossible t 
represent the compactness and artistic texture of Buchanan's composition 
Sometimes the delicate shades of meaning are lost, and happy points cart 
lessly rendered. Take an illustration from that finished gem " The Hero. 
" Subdued " is not the word for geill. Caesar did not subdue Home, bu 
bent it to his own will. The terse line, cha'n uaisle inntinn ardan borl 
with its sly shot at " Highland pride " is slurred over. Eagal beatha i 
rendered fears of life, a different idea from " the fear of life," in th 
sense of tear of losing it. The stanza beginning " Le gealtach ciont " i 
hopelessly misrepresented. The next is not in so bad a plight, but is fa 
from being exact. We cannot forgive Mr Sinclair for not bestowing 
little more of the labor limce on the beautiful Platonic thought befor 
him that the noblest life is order, where that which has authority reigns 
and that which has not obeys. " His soul is fixed as on a rock " say 
the translator, making our hero uncomfortable, like Prometheus bound 
Buchanan says, that " his mind is firm as the rock." These minutiae ma; 
seem invidious. They aie not so. It is because we respect and appreciat 
Mr Sinclair's work that we draw attention to what escaped his pei 
when, like Homer himself, he occasionally nodded. We hope to se 
soon a new impression of Mr Sinclair's work. Any streaks in the marbl 
are merely external, and not ingrained, so that a thorough rinsing with revi 
ing soap and water will make the whole beautiful. We heartily commeni 
Mr Sinclair's edition of Buchanan, and we hope our readers will help t 
clear away the present impression to make room for another, and ai 
improved one, from the same pen. 


Xo. VI I I. JUNE 1876. 


IN certain previous articles on the state of the Ossianic controversy we 
had an opportunity of discussing at some length the most important 
branches of the argument, now and old, on the question of Ossian's 
authenticity ; but with special reference to the great matter-of-fact evi- 
dence which may now be adduced from the very geography of Western 
Europe from Ireland to Iceland, including all intermediate ground in 
support of his poems. Another branch of the same sort of argument, 
however, remains still to be investigated that which refers to the condi- 
tion of Ossian's own mind in relation to the universe at large, more 
especially to the atmospheric universe, without any immediate referenee 
to time or place, as indicated in his poetry. Such r-lation, we maintain, 
is not only indicated, but very vividly embodied in his text, although 
Macpherson was practically unconscious of it ; and if it can be fully traced 
and fairly systematise! it will not only unfold a new phase of the poet's 
own nature extremely interesting to contemplate from a spiritual point of 
view, but will afford, at the same time, an additional argument of the 
loftiest kind in support of his authenticity. It is not so much, therefore, 
as mere matter of speculation that we propose now to investigate the faith 
of Ossian; but as matter-of-fact in the psychological history of the man 
who composed what we call Ossian's poems, and who has left in these, 
hitherto unrecognised, the most interesting traces of his existence. 

Macpherson, in a note to Cuchullin's prayer in ////.</"/ 1). II. '' That 
if any strong spirit of heaven sat on the low hung cloud it would turn the 
king's dark ships from the rock "observes that " this is tin- only p < 
in the poem that has the appearance of religion;" by which he means 
belief in the saving power of some superior being who must be worshipped 
to insure his assistance ; and in this sense it is perhaps the only distinct 
indication we have of such religious faith in Ossian. I'.ut there was faith 
enough in the influence of departed spirits in their sympathy, 
knowledge, and aid, in all critical situations when their friends ,.n earth 
required it; and frequent communications by warnings and promises, and 
even by threats, are recorded between the inhabitants of the two worlds, 
on this understanding : which may be called the religion of spirit relation- 
ship, and the faith of immortal affinities, J'.esides this there are ninm-mii 
instant us, in the poems more especially which refer to the North, ot super- 
stitious rites being ottered to the powers of the air, at stones 


consecrated to their worship by the iiutivcs ; in which, however, I'ingal 
and his people not only decline to participate, but hold them in contempt 
as absurd, and openly defy the imaginary deities to whom they are offered. 
There is possibly, also, one trace of revelation misunderstood in tho Battle 
of Lora, where the "son of the distant land/' who dwelt in the secret 
cell, with the voice of songs, might be either a Druid or Culdee in his 
grove, or one of the very earliest Christian missionaries chanting psalms. 
" Dost thou praise the chiefs of thy land, or the spirits of the wind?" 
In such varieties of allusion to the invisible world, however, we have a 
summary of almost all that can be called religion, in the ordinary sense 
of that Avord, in the poems of Ossian. Of an Infinite Eternal Being, " in 
whose hands our breath is, and whose are all our ways/' he seems to have 
had no idea ; and no act of worship, addressed to such divine power, cart 
anywhere be quoted from his pages. 

But there was a sort of religion of his own which united him to the 
universe, or rather a sense of union in himself to the universe around him 
essentially religious in its character, and strictly devotional in its 
expression which Macpherson probably did not realise, but which is 
nevertheless pre-eminently worthy of recognition as a characteristic of the 
natural man ; and this not quite so much 

Like the poor Indian whose untutor'd mind 
Sees God in clouds and hears him in the wind ; 

as like the prophet of electricity himself who stood "upon the mount 
before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and 
strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the 
Lord ; but the Lord was not in the wind : and after the wind an earth- 
quake ; but the Lord was not in the earthquake : and after the earthquake 
a fire ; but the Lord was not in the fire : and after the fire a still small 
voice," at which the prophet wrapped his face in his mantle. Ossian's 
religious sense, in fact, was but the profoundest realization of his own 
relation to the universe to the atmospheric universe especially, Avhich was 
the fountain of his life, the breath of his nostrils, the home of his departed 
kindred, the paradise of immortal heroes, and the only true dwelling-place 
of his own soul the nearest approach to union with the unknown and 
invisible God, which the mere natural man was capable of attaining. 

About the origin of this faith, beyond what we see indicated in the 
tenor of his poems, more particularly in his monologues and apostrophes, 
it would be foolish to dogmatise. If it came by tradition, its fountain 
must have been very remote ; if it was communicated by any teacher, 
priest, or prophet, no trace remains of such communication ; if it came by 
revelation " if a spirit or an angel spake unto him, let us not fight against 
God !" The probability, however, seems to be that it was purely instinc- 
tive or intuitional; the necessary and inevitable result of the finest 
physical organization, of the most sensitive nervous development which 
connected him, not in imagination only, but in reality, with the surround- 
ing atmosphere, as if he were part and parcel of its pervading volume- 
not so much a mere man, as a fragment of the firmament embodied. By 
such a constitution he would seem to be indeed actually identified with 
the air iu which lie lived ; to rise and fall with its elevations and depres- 


sions; to pass through its depths amazed, to be swept through its 
chambers transported, to penetrate its mysteries with awe, and to be 
inspired with its secrets, triumphant. Above all, he would be sensitively 
alive to every impending change ; and his vital relation to it would be 
intensified by every intensification of the fluid. His very sight and 
hearing would be affected by it, to an extent \vhieh duller mortals could 
never know. Sounds and sighs of the tempest would be the speech of 
departed souls to him, and every swift-fleeting varied form in the clouds, 
awful or beautiful, would be a revelation of their presence. If to all this 
the deep spiritual consciousness of such a man himself be added the 
power of concentration or expansion in thought, beyond mere nervous 
susceptibility almost nothing else was required to constitute him the 
prophet of the atmosphere. AVhat lie felt physically was due to the air, 
and what he imagined mentally was transferred in return to the clouds ; 
of which reciprocal action he was, perhaps, only half aware " whether 
in the body, he could not tell ; or whether out of the body, he could not 
tell" but the result was the same ; and the faith, and the hope, and the 
practical enlargement were the same. He might hear unspeakable words, 
as Paul did, which it was not possible for a man to utter ; but the most 
of what he seemed to hear he did utter, and the substance of what 
he saw and felt he believed in as a divine reality. The upper world with 
its sunlights and its shadows, with its soft rustling breath and its scathing 
electrical currents, was his world. Though no God was there, it was all a 
familiar heaven to him ; and though no special mansion that he knew of 
had been prepared for him within its precincts, it would be the welcome 
and eternal home of his liberated spirit a sort of faith which, as regards 
the passage of the soul from earth to heaven at least, will be found on 
comparison to be not so very different from that of the New Testament 
after all, for " a cloud would receive him out of our sight." What then 
could the poems of such a man be, but the loftiest representations of all 
earthly things, and the sublimest musings on all heavenly things so far 
as he could see or feel them ? All meanness and puerility ; all " foolish 
talking and jesting, which arc not convenient," would be removed ; and 
nothing but the deepest sorrows, or the grandest triumphs in his estima- 
tion upon earth, and the glories of an aerial existence thereafter, in the 
clouds above, or in the memories of men below, woidd remain, as we see 
them represented on his pages. 

But is such a theory, it may be said, imaginable 1 It was certainly 
not imagined by Macpherson; and has never been suggested, so far a.s 
we are aware, by any of his traducers although it is as legible in the 
text of Ossian's poems as the letters of the alphabet are in a spelling book. 
Does such faith amount to revelation then ? To revelation through the 
senses, it does. It is a species of intuition, in fact, the subtlest and most 
suggestive, of which the mere natural man is perhaps capable, and unfolds 
a sort of relation between the soul and very body of a man with the 
earth on which he lives and the atmosphere he breathes that philosophers 
have not yet fully investigated, and which no poet perhaps in the world 
has so profoundly, yet unconsciously, illustrated. It was no discovery to 
him, the result of pragmatic experiment ; but only a fact in his exisU-nr.-, 
which he proclaims in song without an effort, and rejoices to believe in 



when all other relations cease. It is worth while at least i;i looking 
"beyond the earth, or in surveying the heavens now, to listen to such an 
interpreter of their forces, whether we believe in his inspiration or not; 
and as regards the fact itself we have the teaching of JVIoses and Eliar;, 
of David and Isaias, of Peter, of Paul, of John, and of Jesus himself to 
authorise the faith of it ; and if these divine, or divinely-inspired teachers 
could see God himself "beyond the clouds, and realise the presence of the 
Eternal there, Ossian, at least, was more litted than most other men, by 
actual experience, to accept their teaching on a practical basis. 


The chariots of God arc twenty thousand, even thousands of Angels ; the Lord is among 

them, as in Sinai in the holy place. Ps. Ixviii. 
Who maketh the clouds his chariot. Ps. civ. 

Viewless they wheel on the floor of the 


Silent they mount with no visible motion; 
The breath of a zephyr can marshal and 

range them, 
The touch of a sunboam to glory can 

change them : 
The Lord God of Light takes his station 

among them. 

Softly they wend on the path of the 


Dew from their axles the hill-tops adorning; 
Closely they muster, their shadows ex- 
To shelter the desert from noon-tide im- 

pending : 

The Lord God of Peace is reposing among 

Swiftly they sweep over forest and prairie, 
Lightly they roll over battlements airy ; 
Gulfs they surpass on cerulean bridges, 
'Twixt Grampian, Apennine, Lebanon 

ridges : 
The Lord God of Battles is hasting 

among them. 

Portentous they gather 'tis night all 

around them : 
Heretic hosts, this array shall confound 

them ! 

Deep unto deep at their passage is calling; 
Hail from their hollows, like millstones, is 

falling : 
The Lord God of Hosts is commanding 

among them. 

Fast on the ether His ministers bind them; 
Thick fly his arrows before and behind 

them ; 
Long roll their terrors, the echoes renew 

them ; 

Loud screams the trumpet of triumph all 

through them : 

The Lord God of Might is prevailing 
among them. 

Bright they dtfile through the portal of 

The many ribb'd archway between earth 

and heaven ; 
Their train, as they pass, in a flood is 

Their wheels, in a blaze, with the rainbow 

are blending : 
The Lord God of Grac* is repenting 

among them. 

See them to Tabor resplendently turning ! 
Angels around, on the summit are burning; 
Mortals, asleep, in their circle are walking; 
Moses, Elias, and Jesus are talkii'.p; : 
The Lord God of Glory is shilling among 

Quick they disperse, and round Olivet 

Settle in troops amid seraphim kneeling ; 
Cherubs, in harness, above tbrrn arojflying; 
Man has been free'd from th.9 tenor of 

dying : 

The Lord God of Life returns heaven- 
ward among them. 

Yet conies the day when thi-j planet shall 

Far from the uttermost blue t'> -v :i mble; 

White-winged souls, on t'i>. ir iwhway 

Shout their hozannas, His advent ex- 
pecting : 

The Lord God of Love shall come ie5gn- 
ing among them. 





THE 79th Highlanders, on their return from Egypt, were settled for a 
year at the Island of Minorca, from which they embarked fur Uritaiu. and 
remained till 1804. By tins time, in view of further active service, 
Colonel Cameron was favoured with a "Letter of Service" to rai-v a 
second battalion, which he completed within a twelvemonth of the date 
of his missive. AYhile the Colonel was recruiting for the completion of 
this battalion, a considerable amount of feeling and controversy had been 
abroad about superseding the kilt in the Highland regiments by the tartan 
trousers, and from the following correspondence between the Horse Cuards 
and Colonel Cameron, it will be clear that an inclination to that ell'cct 
had some existence: 

I am directed to request that you will state for the information of tho Adjutant- 
General your private opinion as to the expediency of abolishing the kilt in Highland 
regiments and .substituting the tartan trews, which have Leon represented to the Com- 
mandei -in-Chief from respcctahle authority ;\s an article now become acceptable to your 
countrymen easier to be provided, and calculated to prcseive the health and promote 
the comfort of the men on service. 


Colonel Alan Cameron. 

Colonel Cameron's reply to the suggestive official above quoted, is 
worthy of space in the Celtic Mu<j<(::'nu>, notwithstanding its great length, 
its elaborate sentences, and discursive reasonings : 

GJ.ASCOW, 27th October 1804. 

SIR, On my return hither, some days ago, from Stirling, I received your letter of the 
13th inst. respecting the propriety of an alterntion in the mode of clothing Highland 
regiments, in reply to which I beg to state freely and fully my sentiments upon that 
subject, without a particle of pr.jmlice in either way, but merely founded upon facts as 
applicable to these corps at Itast as far as I :un capable from thirty years' experience, 
twenty of which I have been upon actual service in all clim.ites with the description of 
men in question, which, independent of being myself u Highlander, and well knowing all 
the convenience! and inconveniences of our native garb in the tield and otherwise ; and, 
perhaps, also aware of the probable source und clashing motives from which the sugges- 
tions, now under consideration, originally arose. I have to o'. servo progressively that in 
course of the late war several gentlemen proposed to raise Highland ii-ginients, some for 
general service, but chiefly for home defence ; but most of these corps were called from 
all quarters and thereby adulterated with every description of men that rendered them 
anything but real Highlanders, or even Scotchmen (which is not strictly synonymous), 
and the (..'olontls themselves generally unacquainted with the language and habiU of 
Highlanders, wliile prejudiced in favour of and accustomed to wear breejlu 8, consequently 
averse to that free congenial circulation of pure wholesome air (as an cxhil .rating native 
bracer) which has hitherto so peculiarly befitted the Highlander for activity, and all tho 
other necessary qualities of a soldier, whether for hardship, on scant fare, rtadinta in 
(ici-<iittriiit/, or making foi'i\il ;/M/v,V,<, &c. Besides the exclusive advantage, when halted, 
of drenching his kilt in the next brook as well as washing his limbs, and drying both, as 
it were, by constant fanning, without injury to either; but on the contrary, feeling clean 
and comfortable, while the buffoon tartan pantaloon, with all its fringed fiippery (ftl 
some mongrel Highlanders would have it) sticking wet and dirty to their skin, U not 
easily pulled off, and less so to get on again in cages of alarm or any other hurry, and all 
this time absorbing both wet and dirt, followed up by rheumatism and fevers, which 
ultimately make great havoc in hot and cold climates, while it consists with my knowledge 
that the Highlander iu his native garb always appeared more cleanly, and maintained 


better health in both climates than those who wore even the thick cloth pantaloon. In- 
dependent of these circumstances, I feel no hesitation in saying that the proposed altera- 
tion must have proceeded from a whimsical idea more than the real comfort of the 
Highland soldier, and a wish to lay aside the national martial garb, the very sight of 
which h:is upon many occasions struck the enemy with terror and confusion, and now 
metamorphose the Highlander from his real characteristic appearance and comfort, in an 
odious incompatible dress, to which it will, in my opinion, be difficult to reconcile him, 
as a poignant grievance to and a galling reflection upon Highland corps, as levelling that 
material distinction by which they have been hitherto noticed and respected ; and 
from my own experience I feel well founded in saying that if anything was wanted to 
aid the rack-ienting landlords in destroying that source which has hitherto proved so 
fruitful for keeping up Highland corps, it will be that of abolishing their native garb 
which His lloyal Highness, the Commander-in-Chief, and the Adjutant-General may rest 
assured will prove a complete death-warrant to the recruiting service in that respect. 
But I sincerely hope that His Koyal Highness will never acquiesce in so painful and 
degrading an idea (come from whatever quarter it may) as to strip us of our native garb 
(admitted hitherto our regimental uniform) and stuff us into a harlequin tartan pantaloon 
which composed of the usual quality that continues as at present worn, useful and 
becoming for twelve months, will not endure six weeks' fair wear as a pantaloon, and 
when patched makes a horrible appearance ; besides that the necessary quantity to serve 
decently throughout the year, would become extremely expensive, but above all, would 
take away completely the appearance and conceit of a Highland soldier, in which case I 
would rather see him staffed in breeches and abolish the distinction at once. I have the 
honour to be, &c., 

(Signed) ALAN CAMERON, Colonel 79th Cameron Highlanders. 
To Henry Thorpe, Esq., Horse Guards, London. 

The reader on perusal of this reply will be driven to the conclusion that 
the gallant Colonel had not strictly adhered to his promise of impartiality 
at the outset, at any rate it is clear that the Adjutant-General had applied 
to the wrong quarter for sympathy or favour for his views of abolishing 
the kilt as part of the uniform of Highland regiments. 


WHEN Napoleon left General Menou and his army in Egypt it was to 
take advantage of the acclamation in his favour by the Republic of 
France, whose directors created him First Consul ; which act was followed 
by peace known in history as that of ' ' Amiens." But it soon became 
evident that it could not last. Bonaparte was bent on excluding England 
from all continental influence or commerce. This inimical feeling was 
communicated to the Court of St James ; also his studied rudeness towards 
our Ambassador at Paris, which conduct essentially brought the two 
nations again into war. He ordered all British residents or travellers 
found in France to be seized, of whom he had 10,000 put in the prisons 
of the various towns ; and at the same time (1805) dispatched an army to 
displace our Viceroy from Hanover, and another to Boulogne, there to 
encamp for an opportunity to cross the Channel and chastise the British. 
This force was entitled the " Army of England " ! ! He next overran 
Italy, and was created its King, into which he introduced the conscription, 
and got 40,000 of its soldiers to abet his designs against Europe. He 
came to Boulogne and reviewed the 150,000 troops intended for the 
invasion, but while he was supposed to be ruminating on crossing the 
British Kubicon, the hostile operations by Austria took himself and his 
" Army of England " off rapidly to the Ehine. His victory at Austerlitz 
against the Russians and Austrians was more than vindicated by ours 
over his fleet at Trafalgar. The British nation had to lament the loss this 
year of two of her greatest sons Nelson and Pitt. Public funerals were 


awarded to the illustrious men ; the Naval hero being borne to St Paul?, 
and the Minister to Westminster Abbey. 

The former lay in state for a week at Greenwich Hospital, from which 
he was conveyed by way of the river with a magnificent procession of 
royal barges and those belonging to the Guilds of the city of London 
(1806). From London Bridge to the Cathedral the streets were lined 
with troops, of whom Colonel Cameron with the 79th and 92d regiments 
formed a portion. In the accounts of this grand and solemn funeral in the 
newspapers, reference is made to the presence of the Highlanders, who 
appeared to have quite won the admiration of the populace. 

Although the French were nearly whipped from oft' the seas by the 
bravery and skill of our Admirals, Bonaparte was carrying victory before 
him over all Germany. The Prussians were badly beaten at Jena, which 
humiliation they richly deserved for their perfidy and selfishness in 
deserting at an earlier period, the cause of Germany, in hopes to bo 
assigned the Kingdom of Hanover. Their capital was occupied by 
Napoleon and his generals (Oct. 1806). This was the occasion when the 
" Berlin Decree " was issued, forbidding all intercourse with England, and 
use either of her manufactures or any of her produce. By the subsequent 
submission of Eussia to his dictates, a treaty known as that of "Tilsit" 
(1807) was agreed upon by which their fleet and those of Sweden and 
Denmark were secured to Napoleon. 

These repeated acts of insolence by the French against this country 
could no longer be permitted to pass without action, and the 
British Cabinet directed a powerful armament, consisting of 60 war vessels 
with 380 transports to carry 27,000 troops, to be secretly fitted out and 
sail from Yarmouth Roads for the Baltic. The land forces were under 
Lord Cathcart, with Sir Arthur "VVellesley second in command. Colonel 
Cameron and the 79th formed part of the force. Arrived at Elsinore, 
negotiations were opened up for the delivery of the Dani>h fleet, under 
solemn engagements that it should be restored on the conclusion of apoace 
with France. The proposal being indignantly rejected by the Crown 
Prince, preparations were made to enforce it. The fleet proceeded up to 
Copenhagen, the troops were landed, batteries were constructed, and a 
bombardment was immediately commenced both by sea and land, which 
lasted three or foxir days, after which the Danish commander surrendered; 
Colonel Cameron, at the head of the flank companies of the army, with 
two brigades of artillery, was directed to take possession of Copenhagen.* 
The loss to the Danes during this bombardment was very eoiunderable, 
The grand cathedral and its steeple was laid in ruins, and the wholr of 
their fleet was carried oil' to the Thames with its stores and artillery. 

Much difference of opinion prevailed as to the policy or justice of this 
appropriation of the navy of a neutral power. "When intelligence reached 
Bonaparte of this decisive operation of the British it is said his rage was 

The Houses of Parliament voted their thanks to the Generals, 
Admiral, army and navy engaged in this expedition ; and in additon, 

* Wfe of tbe Dwke of Wellington, Kelljr, London, -18 



Colonel Cameron received a special letter from Lord Cathcart, the Litter 
part of which will be sufficient to quote viz., " In communicating to you 
this most signal mark of the approbation of Parliament, allow me to add 
my own warmest congratulations upon a distinction which the force under 
your command had so great a share in obtaining for His Majesty's service, 
together with the assurance of the truth and regard with which I have 
the honour to be, &c." 

Scarcely had the army returned from Denmark when another demon- 
stration was directed towards Sweden, of which Sir John Moore had the 
commancl-in-chief, and Colonel Cameron was promoted to the command 
of a brigade. This was a bloodless campaign, and they returned pretty 
much as they went. 

(To be Continued.) 



[When the Highland system of clanship was abolished after the final fall of the 
Stuarts, hundreds of families left their homes for America. This was the result partly 
of the influx, of the southern farmers, and partly because the chiefs being no longer 
allowed to keep vassals to carry on their feuds, had therefore no interest in retaining a 
large band of followers on their lands. The strength of the country was thus diminished, 
and many bold and patriotic men, whose ancestors had flocked round the standard of 
King Robert the Bruce, now left old Scotland to return no more. The following verses 
are supposed to be the parting adieu of an emigrant as he is leaving his native Caledonia] : 

Farewell to the land of the mountain and 

Farewell to the home of the brave and the 

My bark is afloat on the blue-rolling main, 

And I ne'er shall behold thee, dear Scot- 
land, again ! 

Adieu to the scenes of my life's early morn, 
From the place of my birth I am cruelly 

torn ; 

The tyrant oppresses the land of the free, 
And leaves but the name of my sires unto 


Oh ! home of my fathers, I bid thee adieu, 
For soon will thy hill-tops retreat from 

my view, 
With sad drooping heart I depart from thy 

To behold thy fair valleys and mountains 

no more. 

V.vas Ihere that I woo'd thee, young 

Fl( ra, my wife, 
When my bosom was warm in the morning 

of life, 


I courted thy love 'mong the heather so 

And heaven did I bless when it made thee 

my own. 

The friends of my early years, where are 

they now ? 
Each kind honest heart, and each brave 

manly brow ; 
Some sleep in the churchyard from tyranny 

And others are crossing the ocean with me. 

Lo ! now on the boundless Atlantic I stray, 
To a strange foreign realm I am wafted 


Before me as far as my vision can glance, 
I see but the wave rolling wat'ry expanse. 

So farewell my country and all that is 


The hour is arrived and the bark is asteer, 
I go and for ever, oh ! Scotland adieu ! 
The land of my fathers no more I shall 





\TRITIXG in the March number of this Magazine tlie Rev. George Gilfillan 
describes the Massacre as " an event with which, even after a period of 
200 years, all Scotland, and especially all the Highlands, ring from side 
to side." 

Diabolical as the massacre undoubtedly was, both in its conception 
and execution, one would naturally suppose, as Mr Gilfillan evidently 
does, that the memory of it, in all its horrid details, would live, if any- 
where, in Glencoe itself, and its immediate neighbourhood. Apparently, 
however, it does not. 

Like everybody else I visited Glencoe years ago as a tourist. That is, I 
got out of the steamer at Ballachulish, scrambled with a crowd of other 
tourists, on to the top of a coach ; was driven some distance up the Glen ; 
walked the rest of the way, and was obliged to listen all the time to bits 
of Ossian badly recited by Cockneys who had "crammed" from the 
Guide liook for the occasion ; and to various statements as to the pro- 
portion in which responsibility and culpability was attachable to the 
several parties connected with the massacre from King "William down- 
wards. Every passenger on that coach had some knowledge, more or less 
accurate, of the facts of the case ; some of us shuddered, as we strode 
along, at the remembrance of the atrocious crime ; others viewed the < Hen 
with interest, apart altogether from its associations that interest which 
always attaches to the grand and sublime in nature; while a few joked 
and laughed as if Maclan had never lived, and quite unimpivsM-d by the 
wild magnificence of the surroundings. Doubtless, however, had it not been 
for the event of 1G92 we would not all, on the particular occasion referred 
to, have found our way up that Glen of Gloom. 

I had no opportunity then of conversing with any natives, or of 
ascertaining from them whether any traditional account of the slaughter 
of the Macdonalds survived; but having, in the autumn of 1867, had 
occasion to pass a 1't-w days on Loch Leven side, and finding myself 
domiciled within a very shoit distance of the ucene of the massacre, I 
being somewhat of an enquiring turn of mind, not unnaturally got into 
conversation on the subject with one who was born and bred in the 

The native from whom I sought information was a man in middle 
life, of average intelligence, occupying a respectable and responsible 
position, being then, and now for aught I know, head keeper or foiv.-ter 
on an extensive deer forest in the neighbourhood. He had not, he told 
me, had much " schooling," and from books he had gained no knowledge 
of history. This pleased me much, because having had reason to doubt 
the accuracy of tradition in general, it occurred to me. a good opportunity 
offered for testing its accuracy in this particular instance. To my enquiry, 
as A\V were tramping through the forest one day, "Did you evr hear of 
the Massacre of Glencoe ?" the forester replied, "To be sure I did, Sir!" 


And on my asking him to tell me the story as he had heard it, he 
narrated so curious, and to me so new a tale the tale of a massacre in 
Glencoe sure enough, but not the oft told and blood-curdling tale with 
which the students of history are familiar, and which Mr Gilfillan has 
again told so well, that when we returned to the Lodge I at once got out 
my note-book and insisted on a fresh recital. 

Gaelic was the forester's mother tongue, but my acquaintance Avith 
that language being limited, he was obliged to put his narrative into 
English. Premising that it told much better in the Gaelic, he proceeded 
to give me what I have ventured to call "the Latest Version of the 
Massacre of Glencoe." 

Here it is precisely as I noted it down at the time. To alter it into 
the ordinary English of books would destroy, what appears to me, its 
charm. The forester's very Avords and Gaelic idioms are therefore strictly 

" The rents of Glencoe, you must understand," said he, " had not been 
collected for some years twenty years or more. Two men of Edinburgh, 
strong men, came to the man who had the land and said, ' We'll collect 
the rent if you give iis so much.' To their proposal he agreed. They 
came to Glencoe in d le time, and called on the first tenant and got the 
rent ; then they went through the whole Glen, and so formidable did 
they look that on hearing that their friends at the head of the Glen had 
settled, the others all paid up. Thus prosperously did the men proceed 
till they come to Glen Achunnie ; they nsked for the rent from the farmers 
there, telling them that the others had paid ; to be neighbourlike these 
farmers paid also ; and the two men, with the rents of Glencoe in their 
pouches, went up the Glen on their way back to Edinburgh, congratulating 
themselves upon their success. 

" Shortly after their departure one old farmer thought to himself that 
he had done rather a foolish thing in so easily parting Avith his coins, and 
he called his son to him and said that two days had come on Glencoe 
Avhen tAVO men from Edinburgh would take rent from the whole Glen. 
The son said that it Avas so. The father then said that they must folloAr 
them and take the rent from them yet. The son saying ' yes,' oft' they 
Avent, and on their Avay going the father, Avho AA r as short in the sight, AA'as 
constantly asking the son Avhether he Avas seeing the tAvo men ; but after 
following them seven miles the son saAv them before them, and he 
then said to his father ' I see them.' Soon afterAvai'ds they came up to 
them, and the father, who Avas of course spokesman, said they came after 
them for the rents, and they Avould have to take the rent to Edinburgh, 
or them to Glencoe back. The men from Edinburgh said they would 
have a fight for it, and to it they set. After a short time the father killed 
his man, and then he sat doAvn, took a snuff 1 and Avatched his son and the 
other man. Determined to see fair play done he didn't interfere ; he 
quietly took his snuff, seated all the Avhile on a rock, and beheld the 
deadly strife betAveen his only son and the ' Gall ' proceed. He uttered 
not a Avord but took his snuff. The fight at length Avas ended by the 
man from Edinburgh killing the son. The father then calmly rose up, 
approached the stranger and said, ' Well you have killed my only son, 


and if you'll sit down, rest yourself and take a snuff we'll afterwards see 
whether you'll take the rent to Edinburgh or I'll take it bark to (Ilencoe.' 
Having rested themselves they rose and the fight at once began, and 
whether from the exercise of skill or coolness the old man was at length 
victorious, and leaving his vanquished foes on the field, after easing them 
of the coins, ho returned to his dwelling with the rents of the Glen in 
liis own pocket. In consequence of this conduct, and it being found 
impossible to recover rent or taxes they would pay nothing at all an 
order came from the King to kill the whole of them ; and I suppose it 
was done, but one child and a woman. It was very hard to kill tho 
whole of them too. 

" I have heard that it was on Sunday night that the massacre took 
place. I was told that each house contained one soldier. In one was a 
young lad against whose heart it went very hard to kill the people in the 
house where he lodged, because they had shown him great kindness ; ho 
dursen't disobey orders, however ; in the evening, before the day fixed for 
the massacre, in presence of the people he went out, and from his pouch 
he took a grey stone, and in the sight of the people drew his sword and 
struck the stone saying the while, ' Well grey stone if you knew what was 
going to happen this night you wouldn't lie there ;' thinking that the hint 
would be taken by his friends, but they not understanding him did not 
take the advice but remained in the house ; and he rose during the night, 
and in obedience to his orders, killed them all. 

" The woman and child who escaped were hidden in the hollow of a 
burn, and they heard soldiers approaching. The officer in charge thinking 
from the look of the place that some men might be hiding there, sent a 
soldier to kill any one he might find ; the soldier made a search, but 
seeing only a helpless woman and child, left them alone ; and on his 
return, being asked, boldly said that he had found a man and had killed 

" Many years after an old soldier arrived one day at a house in Appin, 
and craved and of course got a night's lodging; in the course of tho 
evening he happened to mention that he had been one of the soldiers 
engaged at Glencoe. 

" It came into the mind of the man of the house, when he heard this, 
that he would rise in the night time and kill the soldier, but he didn't. 
In tho morning they had some more talk about Glencoe, and the soldier 
mentioned how he had saved a woman and child when they were hiding 
on the side of a burn. On hearing this the man of tho house at once 
jumped up, embraced the soldier, crying out, ' I am the man that was that 
child,' and he was glad that he had not followed his first thought to ariso 
in the night to kill him." 

Penetrated by the absurdity of this story, in so far as it dealt 
with the origin of the massacre, I was at first inclined to doubt 
its genuineness as a tradition. After a good deal of cross-examina- 
tion, however, and knowing the narrator to be truthful, the conviction 
was forced on me that such was the account of the massacre told at this 
day in the district, and firmly believed by my informant as well as by 
others. Glencoe has to a great extent ceased to be occupied by human 


beings ; deer and sheep are now its tenants and occupants. The surround- 
ing district is sparsely populated. Few, if any, among the unlettered 
residenters have ever heard any more than my decent friend the forester, 
of the connection of Stair, Breadalbane, or Glenlyou with the massacre. 
The forester, indeed, didn't even know the name of the King, and he 
listened to the true account with a very incredulous smile, which clearly 
meant, " Don't you think you can get me to believe that cock and Lull 
story ! " He looked exactly as I felt during the delivery of his version. 

The object of this communication is to show, strange though the 
statement may sound, that little is apparently known among the unedu- 
cated classes, living in the very district of its perpetration, about one of 
the most cold blooded and cruel murders, on a wholesale scale, ever con- 
ceived and executed by so-called civilized men. Xow, however, that the 
schoolmaster is being introduced into all our glens and straths, and 
presumably into Gleucoe among others, the next generation, in all pro- 
bability, will know more of the historic truth than did their predecessors 
for several generations. 

Meantime it is quite evident, tradition, in so far at any rate as 
regards the details of a story, cannot always be relied on after the lapse 
of any such period as 200 years. Tradition, however, in this particular 
instance has, it may be said, not had a fair chance, because there are 
probably few, if any, persons now living in the district whose families 
have, in an unbroken line, occupied holdings therein for anything like 
the above period. 


Our friend, The Highland Pioneer, which, for the first year, has been 
conducted, at least in name, as " a monthly journal devoted to the considera- 
tion and advancement of all matters relating to the welfare of Highlanders 
at home and abroad," has thrown the " Highland" and the " Highlanders" 
overboard in his last issue, and now sails simply under the more cosmo- 
politon flag of " The Pioneer, an illustrated monthly journal of special 
interest to all." We shall make every effort to aid the discarded not 
necessarily drowning Highlanders to a shore of safety, and we hope that 
this throwing overboard of such an uncongenial cargo will aid the Captain of 
the Pioneer to arrive in a harbour of refuge safe from the storms and 
billows of a perilous voyage without having to throw his whole cargo into 
the sea. In any case, it is well that the interests of Highlanders are not alto- 
gether bound up with the safety of the Pioneer, and to sink or swim with a 
Captain who, on the first appearance of a storm, casts into the sea the cargo 
with which he first specially left the shore. We had occasion, elsewhere, 
to suggest a little modesty when, on our first trip, the Captain of the 
Pioneer attempted to "run us down " ! ! ! 

TnE CELTIC MA<;A/L\K. 239 


Torluth.Vs* tow'rs rang to the shouts of revelry and mirth, 
Torlutha's chief a galley saw swift bounding from the north, 
Torlutha's chief and warriors rose and sought blue Corriefin,t 
Torlutha's chief saw Morvcu's seer ! then still'd his warriors' din : 

With broken and inconstant steps, with anguish-throbbing brow, 
On Alpin's son he weary leans, be silent warriors now, 
Be silent braves ! the Minstrel comes : he cornes with solemn tread, 
Down with each shield and sword and spear, uncovered be each head : 

His grey hair trembles in the breeze, his cheek is pale and wan, 
His sightless orbs to heaven are raised with grief's unvisioned scan, 
His limbs are yielding 'nealh the yoke of time's remorseless years ; 
Behold the weird and hoary bard 1 behold his silent tears ! 

Those lips which oft in other times the deeds of heroes sung, 
Or poured the battle songs of kings green Ullin's plains among, 
Or woke dark Cona's echoes deep, and Selma's sounding halls, 
Are quiv'ring songless as the oak which 'neath the tempest falls : 

Those hands which shook dread Trenmor's spear by Lubar's rushing stream, 
Or swept the harp till rolling fell the heavenly music dream, 
Are shaking now, and with'ring hang bereft of ancient might, 
No more the sword to grasp again, or strike the lyre of light : 

Lead him unto his father's grave ere grief his soul consumes, 
Where mighty Fingal sleeps amid a thousand heroes' tombs, 
There let him mourn unhappy days, and far off happy years, 
Let him the sward o'er Morven's king bedew with filial tears . 

Where battle-scorning Oscar sleeps, lead him with tender hand, 
There let him touch the mossy stones, there let him lonely stand, 
There let him clasp the flow'rs that grow his warrior son jibove, 
There let him weeping kiss the spot in agony of love : 

He moves a fading meteor o'er dark Lutha's^ narrow heath, 
Where sleeps the daughter of his heart, within the house of death, 
Lead him to where her cromlech lies, he longs his tears to shed 
Upon the cold grey stone that marks his lov'd Malvina's bed : 

Lead ! Lead him where the south winds blow from Ullin's distant shore, 
Still bearing on their noiseless wings his love-fraught songs of yore. 
O ! let them fan his pallid cheek and whisper in his ear 
That dark-haired Evirallin's shade still fondly hovers near : 

W T arriors ! around him gather ! See ! the hero-minstrel falls, 
Hark ! Hark ! from every drooping cloud a voice triumphant calls, 
The spirits uf his fathers join in one far-sounding lay, 
And o'er him circle joyously to bear his soul away : 

* Torlutlia is Drumiuloon. t Coriicfin is Fingfll's landing place. * I-utha is the 
Blftckwater. All these ]>laces arc in the Island of Airan, and nre unquestionably 
Ilic scene of Ossiiin's decease, and where lie is buiied. Fur further elucidation of 
this, all lovers of Morven's bard, nay all Scotsmen, should con-ult that noble tribute to 
Oasian's truth, and Scottish literature viz.. "Ossian and t'.ie Clyde," by Dr Hately 
Wacldell. V, A, 


Swift rushing to his ocean bed of golden-clouded fires, 

The sad sun sinks in sorrow as his lover slow expires, 

One ling'ring look of grief he casts, and lo ! in love's repose, 

A glistering crown of living light illumes the minstrel's brows : 

Moi-Lutha's oaks moan to the wind, and bow'd is every leaf ; 
Dark Lutha's stream rolls fitfully and pours its song of grief. 
Night's hollow blast is but a wail from every hero's grave, 
Death's ghostly dirge peals mournfully from every surging wave : 

Lone Selma trembles at the sound ! blue Morven hears it then ! 
Ghosts shriek from every mountain cave in Cona's gloomy glen ! 
Pale lightnings flash from every cloud ! and muffled thunders roar ! 
And Nature groans in agony ; her Ossian is no more ! 

Raise high ye braves the fun'ral pyre ! back to its source give ye 
The soul that sung of heroes' deeds in deathless minstrelsy, 
On to the cloudy halls where braves in glory gathered are, 
Let it in majesty ascend upon its fiery car : 

Raise high ye braves, The Minstrel's tomb ! where Ullin's breezes sweep, 

Where ever peal the requiem songs and dirges of the deep, 

Let coming ages mark the spot, let coming heroes trace, 

The grey stones guarding Ossian's dust the last of all his race. 

Torlutha's tow'rs are clad in night, grief's silence brooding reigns, 
Torlutha's imhelm'd warriors chant their low despairing strains, 
Torlutha's chief stalks thro' his halls, and sees amid the gloom, 
Dark shadows of the coming years which bode Torlutha's doom. 





There's sighing and sobbing in yon Highland forest ; 

There's weeping and wailing in yon Highland vale, 
And fitfully flashes a gleam from the ashes 

Of the tenantless hearth in the home of the Gael. 
There's a ship on the sea, and her white sails she's spreadin', 

A' ready to speed to a far-distant shore ; 
She may come hame again wi' the yellow gowd laden, 

But the sons of Glendarra shall come back no more. 

The gowan may spring by the clear-rinnin' burnie, 

The cushat may coo in the green woods again : 
The deer o' the mountain may drink at tho fountain, 

Unfettered and free as the wave on the main ; 
But the pibroch they played o'er tho sweet blooming heather 

Is hush'd in the sound of the ocean's wild roar ; 
The song and the dance they hae vanish'd thegilher, 

For the maids o' Gleudarra shall come back no more. 

A. V. 




The discharge of the musket Avas tho signal to those within hearing 
that somebody was about. It awakened to his senses an old negro, the 
honest " Uncle Ned," and brought him to the edge of the " clearing," in 
order to satisfy his curiosity, and to see if it was " old Massa " making 
an unceremonious visit to the farm of which Ned was virtually overseer. 
Our disconsolate party could not avoid an interview even if they would. 
They summoned their courage and affected to feel at ease. And truly they 
might, for Ned, like the class to which he belonged, would never dream of 
asking impertinent questions of any respectable white man, his known 
duty being to answer, not to ask, questions. Our weary party invited 
themselves to " Uncle Ned's " cabin, which stood in the edge of the 
clearing close by, and turned out to be a tidy log cottage. The presiding 
divinity of its single apartment was our kind hostess, "Aunt Lucy," Ned's 
better half, who felt so highly charmed and flattered by the visit of such 
distinguished guests that she scarcely knew what she was saying or doing. 
She dropt her lighted pipe on the floor, bustled and scraped and curt- 
sied to the gentle lady over and over, and caressed the beautiful little 
" Missie " with emotions which bordered on questionable kindness. This 
ovation over, our hungry guests began to think of the chief object of their 
visit getting something in the shape of warm luncheon and with this in 
view they eyed with covetous interest the large flock of fine plump pullets 
about the door. There was tine material for a feast to begin with. The 
hint was given to " Aunt Lucy," and when that aged dame heeame con- 
scious of the great honour thus to be conferred upon her, she at once set 
to work in the culinary department with a dexerity and skill of art which 
is incredible to those who are ignorant of the great speciality of negresses. 
There was sudden havoc among the poultry, and fruit and vegetables found 
their way from the corn field in abundant variety to the large chimney place. 
Meanwhile the captain shouldered his piece and brought, from an adjacent 
thicket, two whapping big fox squirrels to add to the variety of the feast, 
extorting from the faithful Ned the flattering compliment " b' gollies 
Uoss, you is the best shot I ever see'd." Preparation is rapidly advanc- 
ing, and so is the appetite of the longing expectants. JJut such prepara- 
tion was not the work of a moment, especially, from the scantiness of 
Lucy's cooking utensils. So the guests thought they would withdraw for 
a time in order to relieve the busy cook of all ceremony, and at the samo 
time relieve themselves of the uncomfortable reflection of three Mazing 
tires in the chimney place. After partaking of a few slices of a delirious, 
water melon, they retired to the shade of a tree in the yard, and there 
enjoyed a most refreshing nap. In due course the sumptuous meal is 
ready; the small table is loaded with a most substantial repast, the over 
plus finding a receptacle upon the board floor of the apartment which was 


covered with white sand. It is needless to say that the guests discharged 
their duty Avith great gusto, notwithstanding the absence of any condi- 
ments, save pepper and salt, in their case hunger being the best sauce. 
Who but an epicure could grumble at the repast before them 1 What 
better than stewed fowls and squirrels, boiled rice, Indian hoe cake and 
yams smoking hot from the ashes, squashes, pumpkin-pies and apple 
dumpling, and all this followed by a course of fruit, peaches and apple?, 
musk and water melons, all of a flavour and size inconceivable by any 
but the inhabitants of the sunny climes which brought them to maturity. 
Her ladyship could not help making the contrast with a service of fruit 
upon an extra occasion in her home circle, which cost several golden 
guineas, and yet was not to be compared with that furnished for the 
merest trifle by these sable purveyors so much for the sun rays of the 
latitude. There was, however, the absence of any beverage stronger than 
water, not even tea, a name which the humble hostess scarcely compre- 
hended. But a good substitute was readily presented, in the form of 
strong coffee, without cream or sugar. It was now drawing late in the 
afternoon, and our party refreshed and delighted with their adventure, 
must begin to retrace their steps towards the canoe. The reckoning was 
soon settled. A few shillings, the index of the late regime of George in 
the colony, more than satisfied all demands, and surpassed all expectations. 
But the fair visitor was not content, without leaving an additional, and more 
pleasant memento. She took a beautiful gold ring, bearing the initials 
B.J.C., and placed it upon the swarthy finger of " Aunt Lucy," with many 
thanks and blessings for her kindness, on that eventful occasion. This 
kindly expression was heartily reciprocated by the negress, and responded 
to by a flood of tears from her eyes, and a volley of blessings from her 
lips. The party badj a final adieu to their entertainers, and they had to 
veto their pressing offer of escorting them to the river. Off they went, 
leaving the aged couple gazing after them, and lost in amazement as to 
who they could be, or whither they were going, and all the more astonished 
that the mysterious visitors had supplied themselves with such a load of 
the leavings of the repast. 

The navigation was at length resumed, and onward they glide as before, 
without the sight of anything to obstruct their course. Their pros- 
perous voyaging continued till about midnight, for they resolved to con- 
tinue their course during the whole night, unless necessity compelled 
them to do otherwise. Long before this hour, the mother and child 
resigned themselves to sleep, which was only interrupted by occasional 
starts, while the indefatigable steersman watched his charge, and plied 
his vocation with improving expertness. At this hour again, in the dim 
light of the crescent moon, a second " pole boat " was discovered making 
towards them, but which they easily avoided by rowing to the opposite 
side of the river, thus continuing their course, and escaping observation. 
In passing the "flat" an animated conversation was overheard among the 
h:uids, from which it was easily gathered that the escape of the rebel was 
the engrossing topic in the town of Wilmington, the place of their 
departure, and towards which the rebel himself was now finding his way 
as fast as tide and paddle coxild carry him. At present, however, he felt 
no cause for alarm. One of the hands speaking in vulgar English accent 


was heard to depone, " By George if I could only get that prize I'd be a 
happy man, and would go b.ick again to old h-England." To this base 
insinuation a threatening reproof was administered by other parties, who 
replied in genuine Gaelic idiom and said, "It's yourself that would need 
to have the face and the conscience, the day that you would do that;" and 
they further signified their readiness to render any assistance to their bravo 
countryman should opportunity oiler. Those parties were readily recog- 
nised from their accent to be no other than Captain M'Arthur's intimate 
acquaintances, Sandie M'Dougall and Angus liay, and who wen' so well 
qualified, from their known strength and courage, to render most valuable 
assistance in any cause in which their bravery might be enlisted. If he 
only gave them the signal of his presence they would instantly fly into 
his service and share his fate. However, it was deemed the wisest course 
to pass on, and not put their prowess to the test. Hours had now passed 
in successful progress without notice or interruption ; and they are at 
long last approaching Wilmington, their sea-port, but a considerable dis- 
tance from the mouth of the river. The question is how they are to pass 
it, whether by land or water, for it is now approaching towards day. 
"What is to be done must be done without a moment's delay. It is at length 
resolved to hazard the chance of passing it by canoe rather than encoun- 
tering the untried perils of a dismal swamp. The daring leader puts his 
utmost strength to the test, striking the water right and left with excited 
vigour. His feeling is "HOAV or never;" for he knew this to be the most 
critical position of his Avhole route ; unless he could get past it before 
break of day his case was hopeless. The dreaded town is at length in 
view, engendering fear and terror, but not despair. Several large crafts 
an- seen lying at the wharf, and lights are reflected from adjacent shipping 
offices. Two small boats are observed crossing the river, and in rather 
uncomfortable proximity. With these exceptions the inhabitants are 
evidently in the enjoyment of undisturbed repose, and quite unconscious 
of the phenomenon of such a notorious personage passing their doors 
with triumphant success. Scarcely a word was heard, it was like a city of 
the dead. Who can imagine the internal raptures of our lucky hero, on 
leaving behind him, in the distance, that spot upon which his fate was 
suspended, and in having the consciousness that he is now not far from 
the goal of safety. Even now there are signals which cheer his heart. 
He begins already to inhale the ocean Inw/e, and from that ho derives 
an exhilarating sensation such as he had not experienced for many years. 
He gi-ts the benefit of the ocean tide, fortunately, in his favour, and carry- 
ing bis little hull upon its bosom at such a rate as to supersede the use 
of thu paddle except in guiding the course. The ocean wave, however, is 
scarcely so favourable, 'it rocks and rolls their frail abode in such away 
as to threaten to put a sad tinish to the successful labours of the past. 
There is no help for it but to abandon the canoe a few miles sooner thau 
intended. There is, however, little cause for complaint, for they can now 
see their way clear to their final tciminus, if no untoward circumstance 
arises. They leave the canoe on the beach, parting with it for ever, but 
not without a sigh of emotion, as if bidding faivw. 11 to a good friend. 
Eut the paddle they cling to as a memento of its achievements, the ..p.-r- 
atov ivniarkin" " It did me better service thau any sword ever put into 



my hand." A few miles walk from the landing, which is on the south- 
ern shore of the estuary, and they are in sight of a small hamlet, which 
lies upon the shore. And what is more inspiring of hope and courage, 
they are in sight of a vessel of considerable tonnage, lying at anchor off 
the shore, and displaying the British flag, floating in the morning breeze, 
evidently preparing to hoist sail. Now is their chance. This must be 
their ark of safety if ever they are to escape such billows of adversity as 
they have been struggling with for soine days past. To get on board is 
that upon which their hearts is set, and all that is required in order to 
defy all enemies and pursuers. Hot thinking that there is anything in 
the wind in this pretty hamlet, they make straight for the vessel, but they 
go but a few paces in that direction before another crisis turns up. 
Enemies are still in pursuit. A small body of men, apparently under 
commission, are observed a short distance beyond the hamlet as if antici- 
pating the possibility of the escaped prisoner making his way to the 
British ship. Nor is the surmise groundless, as the sequel proves. In 
this perplexity the objects of pursuit have to lie in ambush and await the 
course of events. Their military pursuers are now wending their way in 
the opposite direction until they are almost lost to view. Now is the 
time for a last desperate effort. They rush for the shore, and there accost 
a sallow lank-looking boatman, followed by a negro, on the look out for 
custom, in their marine calling. A request is made for their boat and 
services, for conveyance to the ship. At first the man looks suspicious 
and sceptical, but on expostulation that there was the utmost necessity for 
an interview with the captain before sailing, and important dispatches to 
be sent home, and a hint given that a fee for services in such a case was 
of no object, he at once consents ; the ferry boat is launched, and in a 
few minutes the party are off from the shore. But the military party 
observing these movements begin to retrace their steps in order to 
ascertain what all this means, and who the party are. They put to their 
heels, and race towards the shore as fast as their feet can carry them. 
They feel tantalised to find that they have been sleeping at their post, and 
that the very object of their search is now half-way to the goal of safety. 
They signal and halloo with all their might, but getting no answer 
they fire a volley of shot in the direction of the boat. This has no 
effect, except for an instant, to put a stop to the rowing. The boatman 
gets alarmed as he now more than guesses who the noted passenger is, 
and he signifies his determination to put back and avoid the consequences 
that may be fatal to himself. The hero puts a sudden stop to further 
parley. He ilings a gold sovereign to the swarthy roAver, commands him 
simply to fulfil his promise, but to refund the balance of change upon 
their return from the ship " he must see the captain before sailing." 
To enforce his command the sturdy Highlander, who was more than a 
match for the two, took up his loaded musket and intimated what the 
consequences would be if they refused to obey orders. This had the 
desired effect. The rowers pulled with might and main, and in a few 
minutes the passengers were left safe and sound on board the gallant ship, 
and surrounded by a sympathising and hospitable crew. The fugitives 
were at last safe, despite rewards and sanguine pursuers. But their 
situation they could scarcely realize, their past life seemed more like a 


dream than a reality. Our brave heroine was again quite overcome. 
The reaction was too much for her nerves. In being led to the cabin 
she would have fallen prostrate on the deck had sh : nut been .supported. 
And who can wonder, in view of her fatigues and privations, her hair- 
breadth escapes and mental anxieties. But she survived it all. Sails are 
now hoisted to the favouring breeze, anchor weighed, and our now rejoicing 
pilgrims bade a lasting farewell to the ever memorable shores of Carolina. 
In care of the courteous commander they, in due time, reached their 
island home in the Scottish Highlands, and there lived to a good old age 
in peace and contentment. They had the pleasure of seeing the tender 
object of their solicitude grow up to womanhood, and afterwards enjoy- 
ing the blessinps of married life. And the veteran officer himself found 
no greater pleasure in whiling away the hours of his repose than in 
rehearsing to an enhanced auditory, among the stirring scenes of the 
American Revolution, the marvellous story of his own fate ; the principal 
events of which are here hurriedly and imperfecely sketched from a 
current tradition among his admiring countrymen in the two hemispheres. 




Norman was nearly exhausted and out of breath when he finished his 
poem. It was well received, and several of the verses Avere heartily ap- 
plauded. The old bard congratulated him in mure enthusiastic terms 
than ever; for, he was glad to lind among the circle one who had just given 
such unmistakeable proof that he was no mean bard himself. He even 
promised to give another of his own poems if Norman would wait and hear 
Ahistaif Eachain Duililis story of Olengarry's burial in the foundation of 
Glengarry Castle. All were delighted to hear another of the old bard's 
own compositions, and Ahistaif Eachain would prefer to hear it before 
telling his story, which, as ho previously told them, was related to him in 
Estrathglass, by an exciseman, a capital story teller, by the name of Grassie. 
The bard, however, insisted upon hearing about old Lllen's mishap first, 
and Alnstair proceeded with the Cl.-ngarry Legend : 

Many ages back, when a powerful but capricious chief of Glengarry 
was erecting the venerable and stern mansion, whose ruins still daunt the 
stranger's eye, he very injudiciously chose his companion and favourite 
from the humblest class of his retainers; and this, like the generality 
of favouiites, once corrupted by a superior's improper familiarity, soon 
forgot prudence and propriety. One day, when the castle's infant 
walls had just upreared their" massy front over their foundation, anil 


while their warlike founder, in company with another chief was super- 
intending and admiring the progress of the "building, up came the 
favourite with the greatest air of confidence, and without even saluting, as 
was then customary, his lord and chief, the dread possessor of unlimited 
feudal power, accosted him thus, in the presence of a recently conciliated 
rival " Alas ! poor chief, know ye what the M'Bhethains say? They call 
you miser, and enquire, how comes it that you could not spare a little 
silver and gold to be placed in thy castle's foundation, as is custom- 
ary with other chiefs'? Your present companion, they say," alluding 
to the chief already noticed, '-'has as much silver in the foundation of 
his castle as would "buy yours." At this the stranger sneered with 
fiendish pleasure, seeing him whose friendship fear, not love, prompted 
him to court, but Avhoni he fervently hated at heart, so much insulted by 
his own vassal. The chief himself, was too severely stung his rage 
was too gigantic to stoop to instantaneous revenge : besides, it was dero- 
gatory for a chief to inflict personal chastisement on a vassal, and im- 
practicable to do so in presence of another chief; but his brow was 
clouded, and his face was darkened as he spoke until recollecting himself 
he smothered up his rage, and endeavouring to assume an appearance of 
cheerfulness exclaimed "You are right Eanouil, I have quite omitted to 
do what you remind me of, I therefore thank you for the hint, and 
believe me I allow you more merit, from a conviction that I am not 
directly or indirectly beholden to those you mention for the suggestion, 
as it is not their own custom to do the like : however, it should 
be done, and, with your assistance, we will correct the omission to- 
night." The vassal retired chuckling, at what he considered the effect 
of his influence. It is impossible to discover the cause which had 
prompted him to talk so insultingly to his lord and master : some attri- 
bute it to the disappointment of dishonest expectations, supposing 
that he intended to abstract any jewellery which might be deposited as 
a memento in the foundation : while others imagine that his chief must 
have previously offended him, and that the insult was intended ; but more 
probably his main object was to ingratiate himself with the stranger. 

M'llanouil lived in a small solitary cottage, a considerable distance 
from the residence of his chief, and, late on the night in question, lie 
was startled in his slumber, by a loud knocking at his door : he arose 
trembling, with a secret dread of something unknown, and shuddered 
involuntarily as he opened his door to discover the cause of this disturb- 
ance. He opened it, and lo ! there stood his chief, alone, with a naked 
dagger in one hand, and a dark lantern in the other, frowning like a 
spirit of vengeance. The frighted vassal at this terrific sight quickly 
sunk on his bended knee to implore his chieftain's grace and mercy, his 
heart bursting with remorse and sorrow, but the ear of vengeance would 
not listen to the importunities of remorse, nor to the supplicating sighs 
of fear. " Come," said the stern and angry chief, " arise, shake off that 
ague's fit and follow me, for I require your service ! " To disobey the chief 
was a crime unknown and unheard of in those days, and his peremptory 
command and determined appearance showed the vassal that remonstrance 
or question was vain and futile ; so with a tremulous hand he arrayed 
himself in his best apparel, and with a bursting and a yearning heart 


He bade his wife and children dear, 
A long, a last adieu, 

and mournfully prepared to follow his chief. They sallied forth iu 
silence and in gloom, the doomed man (for he knew his fate was sealed), 
inarched sullenly behind. Xeither .seemed inclined to disturb the drowsy 
stillness which reigned around them; and as they man-lied along, the owl's 
screech voice assailed the vassal's ear, proclaiming the ominous, 
"man prepare to die," and ever and anon, when the glare of the chief's 
dim lantern gleamed upon him, it showed the unhappy victim the diabolical 
smile which grinned on his chiefs countenance at the proximity of such 
a feast of vengeance. At length they reached the castle, in the dee}) 
silence of midnight! where the chief, pointing to a gloomy excavation 
which he had caused that night to be made in its foundation, desired 
his vassal to enter, which he, without the least hesitation, did, mourning 
as he went, and wringing his hands in utter grief. As soon as he entered 
he saw the muscular chief with great difficulty roll a ponderous stone over 
the mouth of his dim and dreary sepulchre, and heard him chanting to 
himself, as in mockery, the M'Banouil's dirge ; but these cheerless sounds 
soon grew faint and ultimately died away. 

The chief now quitted the castle, intending to drown all th-u:;lit-; of 
its forlorn captive, amidst the riot and luxurious turbulence which a 
chieftain's life afforded, but he found himself mistaken. The foul deed In; 
had that night performed made a deep and indelible impression on his mind, 
and go Avhere he would he wandered like a forlorn outcast, changed, 
dejected, and thoughtful. 

Wherever he roamed his weeping captive came trembling to his mind. 
If awake, it was of him, and him only that he thought, and if asleep he 
dreamed only of him, and often, in the deep stillness of night, a sullen voice 
whispered in his ear " the heavy punishment you have inflicted on your 
clansman is too severe for the venal crime he committed, therefore you 
cannot expect to fight victoriously under such a load of guilt." 

It happened that at this time the chief was about to enter into a struggle 
with an aggressing and powerful neighbour, and on the result of this 
combat depended his own and his clansmen's lives. Their antagonists 
\vcre far superior in point of number, and were warriors renowned for 
their wonderful exploits for fearlessness, daring, and courage; but they 
were a ruthless and relentless enemy, and whatever they vanquished they 
utterly destroyed. They seemed to fight not for any chivalrous honour, 
but rather from the devilish pleasure they had in reducing to ashes that 
which other men took months and years to build. In short, these spoilers 
took great umbrage at the chief of Glengarry, which meant certain destruc- 
tion, unless he could defeat them in arms, and so he, in desperation, 
determined as his only chance of safety to ha/anl a battle. Yes.' he would 
have a struggle, a fierce and furious struggle, en- h<' sank beneath the iron 
hand of a despotic rival : and if he did fall, he, like the dying li<'i>, would 
wound the earth in his throes. He would not bleed like the bleating 
lamb, nor would he imitate the timid hind, and seek safety by flight! 
Mo ! he had fangs like the wolf, and with these he would tear the flesh 
from the bones of his oppressor. 


On the tenth day after the captivity of his late favourite, he had his 
clan marshalled and under arms, awaiting the approach of the foe whom 
he had challenged to meet him there, to settle their dispute by open 
combat. His warriors were all burning for distinction in the field, but none 
more ardently than himself, and as he glanced proudly along their line he 
smiled on hearing them curse the lazy foe, who lagged so tardily on their 
way to meet him. This was in the vicinity of the rising castle, and as he 
wished to enter the fight as guiltless as possible, it struck him that lie 
had better relieve himself, if possible, from the guilt of his prisoner's un- 
deserved misery, and to effect this purpose, he stole unperceived to the 
vault, and with the assistance of a common plank, used as a lever, he soon 
raised up the huge stone, and having placed a sufficient counterpoise 
to preserve the entrance, he entered, but scarcely had he done so 
when snap went the lever, and down came the stone with a tremendous 
force. In an instant he perceived the fearful calamity which had 
befallen him. He knew that all was now over, for it was im- 
possible tu remove the stone, from the interior of the vault; and, in 
terrible despair, he sat, or threw himself down, writhing with extreme 
mental agony. To make his misery greater he heard (or thought he 
heard) his trusty clansmen expressing their amazement at his unexpected 
and cowardly desertion, and heard (or thought he heard) the sentinels, 
whom he himself had placed, proclaim with extended lungs " The foe ! 
they come ! they come ! " and then he heard the din of war on the 
heath, and the shock of battle sound, " like a crash of echoing thunder," 
and then the shout triumphant of his foes and oh ! he would have given 
his very soul's redemption for power to arise from that murky dungeon, 
and stalk to the midst of the combat like an angel of death 

And perish if it must be so, 
At bay destroying many a foe. 

When the sounds of strife and every hope had died away, the shout 
triumphant, and the dying yells, he thought on the lone sharer of his 
captivity, whom he could discover was still alive, and he wondered that 
the soul, ever eager as an iron bound prisoner to escape, should be enticed by 
such misery to linger for his part he would rather nutter like the butterfly 
through its sweet though short career, than live, like the toad, a thousand 
years prisoner to a marble block. As he mused thus in painful silence 
his deliverers arrived. They were his victorious foes and those of his own 
clan who had survived the field of battle the little remnant who had but 
now given his little band like chaff to the four warring winds of the 
earth. They came in quest of riches, which they supposed had been 
deposited in the vault. The stone was rolled away, and one by one they 
dropped into the vault, but each as he entered, fell a victim to tho fury 
of its angry and exasperated inmate, who shortly afterwards with the aid 
of his old favourite vassal, quitted its gloomy precincts, leaving his enemy 
and his laurels there to wither and to die, 

The old bard, whose voice was still sweet, although tremulous in con- 
sequence of old age, sang the folloAving Gaelic song in praise of the 
" Mountain Dew " ; 



Oh ! b' aitlmo dhomh suirUieach neo-iormallacli greanu-mhor, 

Mircanach, mireagach, diulanta, 

A leumadh, a ruitheadh, a chluitheadh, sa dhannsadli, 

Oiiineadal, inneadal, cnramach ; 

'.N am suidhe mu bhord gun tig moran na chuideachtla, 

A ghabhail nan oran gu sulasach, sugairtcach, 

Bhiodh bodaich 'us cailchean a dearbhadh sa dusbaireaclid, 

'Us gheibheadh tu ursgeulan iir aca. 

Cha'n eil posadh na banais, cuis-gheana, na ghaire, 

Chithear cho ceart mar bi druthag ann, 

Aig toiseach na diathad se dh-iarrair an trath sin, 

'S fhearrda na stamagan srubag dheth. 

'S k>is dunadh gach bargain, us dearbhadh gach fincachais, 

Ciad phog bean na bains' 's i toir taing dha na Mhinisteir, 

Chuireadh e dhanns' iad, 's beag an anustramaid shircudh iad, 

Cha'n fhaca mi gille cho surdail ris. 

Nuair theid Macintoisich na chomhdach 's na airmeachd, 
Caite m bheil gaisgeach a mhaoitheadh air, 
Chuireadh e samhach na baird 's a chleir-shcanachain, 
Chuireadh c chadal 's na cuiltean iad. 
Cha robh duine 'sa rioghachd a shineadh air carraid ris, 
Nach bualadh e cheann a dh-aon mheall ris na talaintean, 
'S fhagail gun sgoinn, deanainh greim ria na ballachan, 
Mar gum biodh amadan 's luireach air. 

Tear ns luaithc an astar 's as brais ann an nadur, 

Bhcireadh c chasan sa lus uaith, 

'Fear as bronaich' a dhise, gun mhisneachd, gun mharan, 

Chuireadh e 'inhire air an urlar e. 

'Fear as mo ann an starn bheireadh strabh air gun tuiteadh e, 

Chuireadh e'n t-anlar gu oran 's gu cruitearachd, 

Ni e'm bacach nach gluaiseadh cho luath ris na h-uiseagan, 

'S ni e na trustairean h'ughantach. 

A fear a bhi's na chrupan air cul an tigh-osd', 

'S nach teid a steach leis a sgugaireachd, 

Ge'd bhiodh airgiod na thasgaidh, bi' glas air na phocaid, 

Rud a thoir aisdc cha duraig e. 

Ach nuair thig am fear coir leis 'm bu deoin bhi sa chuideachda, 

Bheir e air sgeoid e gu seomar mam buidealan, 

Nuair dh'olas e dha thig a nadur gu rud-eigin, 

'S their, e cuir thugainn mar shuigheas sinn. 

Tha moran an deigh air an Eirinn 'san Alba, 

(Jo da th a cuid aca dioiubach air, 

Tha daoiu' agus mnathan. tha niathasach, geamnaidh, 

(!i:ibhas detli glaine gu'n urrachdaiun. 

'S fhearrda fear tiirs c, gu cuir simiid agus airsiKial djtli, 

'S ainnidh bean-shiubhla nach duraigcailh blasad air, 

Mar faigh a bhean-ghluin' e thig tuchau 'us casadaicli, 

Falbhas i dhachaidh 's bi sttir oirro. 


Suddar tluiirt Ceat n'lc a-Phearsoin "chan e sin fasau nan Gaidheal, 

Dar a thig leasachdainn iir orra, 

Bith' 'in botal sa ghlaine sa '11 t-aran 's an cais', 

Dha tharruiug ma seach as a chulaiste. 

Tbeir a bhean choir ris a choisir a thuigeadh i, 

Gabhaidh na morniti cha nihor dhetli na trioblaid e, 

Tlia botal na dha an so Ian 'us tha pigidh aim, 

Fainhibh an t-slkje 's na caomhnaibh e." 


P>y THOMAS STRATTOX, M.D. Ediii. ; Author of The Celtic Or'cjin of 
Greek and Latin, and of the Affinity between the Hebrew and the Celtic. 

I WISH to offer a few remarks 011 the word law which forms part of the 
names of various hills in Scotland. They are mentioned in the order in 
which they occur, beginning at the north : 

Inverness-shire. Wardlaw was the former name of the parish of 
Kirkhill near Inverness. (It shows very bad taste changing an old name 
for a new one). 

Angus or Forfar. Dundee Law, Catlaw, Bath law. 

For far and Perthshire. Sidlaw. 

Fife. Largo Law. 

Mid-Lothian. Drylaw is three miles west from Edinburgh. 

East-Lothian. Xorth Berwick L-iw. 

Peebles. Broadlaw. 

Benc ich. G reenlaw. 

Roxburgh . Euherslaw, Cockla w. 

These are all that occur to me at present. They are on the east side 
of Scotland. "What is the derivation of law ? Is it from the Gaelic 
sliabh (pronounced sleav), a hill (a sloping hill). 

Putting the definite article an before sliabh, it is necessary to insert 
euphonic t ; this makes s to be silent. Tims <n\ t-zliahh (the hill), is pro- 
nounced an-t-leav. Suppose a person .speaking in Gaelic of the sKabh of 
Dundee, and another afterwards omitting the article, he might use leav 
only. By a slurring way of pronouncing, this easily becomes Imr. If 
the reader is not satisfied with this view, there is another possibility open 
to us. 

Gaelic has a way of sometimes prefixing s to Gaelic words ; also 
(which is the same thing) of prefixing s followed by a vowel. Another 
way of stating this is to say that Gaelic sometimes has a way of omitting 
initial s. Some time ago I drew up a list of sixty-five [lair^i of words of 
this kind. Perhaps the list might be made longer: 


SMCAIX, think. 
SAOIL, think. 
SAMHLAICH, compare. 
SAOTHAIR, labour, work. 

SEOL, direct. 
SGAJL, coyer, veil. 

SGAINN, burst asunder, cause to burst. 

SGAL, a sudden cry. 

SGEUL, news. 

SGLEU, a disease of the eyes ; glaze about 

the eyes. (Perhaps the beginning of 

cataract. ) 
SGOR, gash, hack. 
SGRIOB, scrape. 
SGRIOBH, write. 
SGROB, scratch. 
SGLEO, boasting. 
SGOB, snatch. 
SIR, ask. 
SPAD, make flat. 
SPAOIL, wrap up. 
SPITHEAG, a small bit of wood. 
SPLEADH, a tale. 
STRUIDH, dissipate, waste. 

STUIRT, pride. 

STVR, dust (Scotch Stour). 

SRUTH, flow. 

SGAIRT, a ciy. 

SGREAD, a screech. 

SOLUS, light. 

SABHAIL, protect. 

SAOR, make free. 

SGABALL, a hood. 

S(;AIXXEAL, slander. 

SGAIRXEACH, a long heap of stones. 

SGALLAIS, derision. 

SGAOTH, a swarm. 
SGAP, scatter. 
SGAR, disjoin. 
SGATH, cut off. 

SGEIMH, comeliness. 

SGOR, a sharp rock. 

Si; KAIL, rail ah 

SCRIOBHIXN, a rugged hillside. 

Sii'BHAL, travel. 

SLIOM, make smooth. 

r, stroke. 
SLOC, a pit. 
SLIOGACH, sly, subtle (moving in hollow 

spots, as a spy). 
SU-AGH, a host. 
S.MAD, beat. 

SMAL, diut. 
J> si ru, fragments. 
SOMAI.TA, bulky. 
SPAG, a paw. 
SPAIUX, an effort. 
STEAL, mow, cut down. 
SPKIS, a liking. 
Si-KiL, bite at. 

speak quickly. 

SPKEADH, burit. 

MEI.V, mind. 

IfL, guidance : Eoks, knowledge. 

AMHUIL, like. 

TIR, the ground. (Digging wa the earliest 

kind of work. ) 
ICL, guidance. 
COILLE, a wood : CLODH, cloth : CLEITH, 


GEIXX, a wedge. 
GLAODH, call. 
GLAODH, call. 
GEAL, white. 

GEARR, cut. 

GARBH, rough. 

GARBH, rough. 

GARBH, rough. 

GLAODH, call. 

GABH, take. 

RADH, speech. 

BAT, beat. 

FEII.E, a covering. 

FIODH, wood : ag, from beag, small. 

BEVL, the mouth. 

TIB, the ground. (Suppose to throw about 

on the ground.) 
TORR, a hill. 
TIR, earth. 
KUITH, flow. 
GAIR, a cry. 
GAIB, a cry. 
LECS, light. 
FEILE, a covering. 
RCITH, run. 

CAB, head : FEILE, a coering. 
CAIXXT, speech. 
CARX, a heap of stones. 
GLAODH, a cry : Ais, behind (to call after 


CATH, a company, a band. 
CAOB, strike, smite. 
GEARR, cut. 
GATH, a dart, a javelin, &c. (the idea is 

something cutting, penetrating). 
CAOMH, gentle, mild. 
Gr.rR, sharp. 

GAIR, laugh : G.VOIR, noise. 
GARBH, rough : BEIXX, a hill. 
FALBH, go. 
LIOMH, smooth. 
LA.VH, a hand. 
LOCH, a hollow ; a loch. 
LOCH, a hollow. 

LUCHD, people. 

BAT, beat : this akin to FIODH, wood 

(suppose a stick). 
MEIL, grind. 
Jim, bit. 
MEALL, a hill 
3L\i;, a paw. 
OBAIR, wok. 
FAL, a scythe. 

BEI L, the mouth. 
I>Et'c, an outcry, a roan, 
KEIDH, smooth, fl^t (suppose spread 



SRANN, snore. 

STALLA, an overhanging rock. 

STAMHNADH, taming (a horse). 

STIUIE, guide. 

STOR, a steep cliff. 

SRON, a nose. 

RANN, sons. 
TULA, a hill. 
TAMH, quiet. 
DRDIDH, teacher. 
TORR, a hill. 
ROINN, a peninsula. 



At present sliabh is in all our Gaelic dictionaries, but looking at the 
above list is there not some reason for saying that lidbh also ought to be 
regarded as an independent word, and have a place given it in all future 
lexicons, adding a reference to sliabh, and a note to the effect that this 
form is theoretical or ideal. 

Who were the Picts ? There have been three theories about them. 

One idea is, or was, that they were a non-Celtic race. Another opinion 
is that they were Cymro-Celtic. A third theory is that they were Gaelic- 

In considering the claims of the two latter views, some writers 
great importance to the word aber (the mouth of a river) ; to the absence 
of the word sliabh ; and to the occurrence of the word law in the districts 
once inhabited by the Picts. 

As to the word aber, it is not now used, by itself, as meaning the 
motith of a river ; this use is obsolete. It is found in many names of 
places (see James A. Eobertson's Gaelic Topography of Scotland), and 
in parts where the Picts were not settled. There does not appear to me 
to be any reason to look upon it as a Cymric a Welsh word solely. It 
is also Gaelic. It is likely that at one time aber meant mouth ; abair 
(to speak) in constant use now, is a proof of this. Strangers to the 
locality may not know that Old Aberdeen is on the river Don ; that is 
the same as Don-mouth. The other town built subsequently is on the 
river Dee, the same as Dee-rnouth. Between them they have made a little 
confusion in the spelling the old town takes the ee from the new, and 
the new takes the n from the old. Some make out that aber and inver 
are test-words aber a proof that the Picts were Cymric, and inver (a 
confluence) a proof that they who used it were Gaelic. I do not see that 
the existence among them of aber is a proof that the Picts were Cymric ; 
the word is as much Gaelic as Welsh. I frankly admit that I always 
look at things Irom a Celtic point of view, and this makes it pleasant to 
think that aber has not been claimed to be Gothic, If the Picts were 
fond of aber, it is not likely that they were Gothic and non-Celtic. 

The next thing to consider is, that some writers attach great weight 
to the fact, or supposed fact, that in the range of country inhabited, or 
supposed to be inhabited, by the Picts, there was an absence of the word 
sliabh, and the occurrence of the word law. My suggestion is that these 
are the same word. I have beside me a Welsh dictionary, and I cannot 
find sliabh in it. If law is then found in Pictland, and if law is the same 
as sliabh, and if sliabh is not Welsh but Gaelic only, then as far as one 
word goes the Picts were Gaelic. 

To repeat : 1. As the Picts were fond of the word aber, and as aber 
is not Gothic, but Celtic, the Picts probably were not Gothic but were 


2. As aber is not the peculiar property of Cymric or Welsh, but a 
word belonging equally to Welsh and to Gaelic, there is on its account 
no ground for saying that the Picts were Cymric or Kymric and non- 

3. As the Picts were fond of the word law, and as this is perhaps the 
same as sliabh, and as sliabh is not found in Welsh, but is Gaelic only, 
it follows that the Picts belonged to the Gaelic division of the Kelts or 

I hope the readers of the Celtic Magazine will forgive the dry ness of 
this communication for the sake of the way in which it may be utilised 
for the purposes of history. 

In this inquiry two test-words are used, aber and sliabli. 

The testimony of aber is to the effect that the Picts wore Celts ; in 
this way we get rid of the Gothic claim. Taking aber by itself the 
Picts were either Cymric or Gaelic. 

The testimony of sliabh is to the effect that the Picts were Gaelic ; 
in this way we get rid of the Cymric claim. 


DEAR ME EDITOR, The accompanying Gaelic poem, with an English ver- 
sion, of great literalncss by the author himself, reached me this morning all 
the way from Melbourne. It can appear nowhere more appropriately than in 
the Celtic Magazine, for in a note the author informs me, as a piece of good 
news, that your Magazine has found its way to the Antipodes, and is read with 
avidity, to use his own words, by " Celts and sinners alike," who may be so 
fortunate as to lay their hands upon it. Mr Cameron is of the Keppanach 
family in my immediate neighbourhood, a good old Lochaber stock of great 
respectability. On its own merits, and as a contribution from a true Celt at 
the other side of the world, 1 hope you can make room for the poem with its 
English version in opposite columns. I am yours faithfully, 


April 19, 1876. 




Cia m' aite taimh no 'in bi mi cunirf, 

Mo smuaintean bi Mh inu'n .mi a tlneig, 
'S air tir nam bennn 'tha fada tuatb, 
Ged's dual nach till gu 'bruaick mo cheum 

Tha cearnag choisrigte de 'n fbonn, 
Le baisteadh thoiin Loch-libliinn aigh, 

'Tba mosgladh aoibbneas m' oige 'm chum, 
'S an aois a chrom cha chaisg mo bhaigh. 


Where'er I dwell, where'er I roam, 
My heart goes back to days of yore, 

With longings fur my Highland homo, 
Which I may never visit more. 

Thero is a sacred spot of earth 

Where glad Loch-leven laves the strand, 
Associated with boyish mirth, 

Which well may riper thoughts command. 



In dreams I visit oft the place, 

And fancy I am still a boy ; 
Each feature of the scene I trace, 

And revel in my fancied joy. 

There was the school, and still is there, 
"Where I was taught my A B C, 

Embosomed in a nook as fair 
As e'er had sky for canopy. 

Here did I learn to read the Book* 
That guides us on the Heavenly road, 

With reverence meet, in tone and look, 
Believing it the voice of God. 

Near was the manse, so peaceful, calm, 
Whichever way the wind might blow, 

With its life's breath a holy psalm 
To teach us the right path to go. 

The wavelets of the rippling tide, 
With their grey crests, methinks I see, 

Down where the Linne opens wide 
To mingle with the open sea. 

Beinn bheithir with his lofty brow 
Stands lip the guardian of the scene ; 

While vale and strath, and locli below, 
Acknowledge him with glow serene. 

And onward, further to the east, 

With pinnacles that pierce the clouds, 

Are CO/HI'S mountains, which, of mist, 
Oft for themselves make sable shrouds. 

Creative might is here portrayed 
In ways that elevate the soul, 

The bright and sombre hues displayed, 
Combining in one glorious whole. 

My country ! birthplace of the brave, 
My heart through life shall to thee cling. 

And when I'm silent in the grave, 
May still thy gladdened echoes ring. 

MELBOURNE, Feby. 24, 1876. 

A'm bruadar 's trie mi ann's an ;\it', 
Mar bha uii 's mi na m' bhalachan og, 

A' faicinn cruth gach ionnaidh graidb, 
Measg aidhear, faladha, a's ceol. 

Bha 'n sgoil a sin, 's a nise tha, 

'S na theagaisgeadh dhomh m' ABC, 

A'n cuileig tha cho tiorail tlath, 
'S a tha fo cheithir aird nan speur. 

'N so leugh mi 'n leabhar 'tha toirt fios,* 
Na slighe dhuinn gu flaitheas shuas, 

Le stoldachd inntinn, 's le mor mheas, 
Mar fhacal naomh an De bhith-bhuan. 

Bha tigh a mbinisteir aig laimh, 

Gu seimh de 'n aird o'n seideadh gaoth, 

'S mar shailm na bentha, 'g eiridh 'n aird, 
Bha anail bith na fardaich naoimh. 

Air learn gu 'm faic mi broluinn gheas, 
An eachrais chas nan sruth 's nan stuadh 

Shios mar 'tha 'n linne 'sgaoiLidh' much, 
Gu fosgladh farsuinneachd a chuain. 

Tha Beinn-a-bheithir 's statail cruach, 
'Cuir fasgadh 's dion air tuar gach ni, 

'S tbagleiinn,a'ssrath, 's an loch ri bruaicl 
Ag aidmheil so gu suairce nun. 

Greis uaip' ; san ear ag eiridh ilrd, 
Le 'm picibh beur a' bearnadh, shios, 

Tha beanntaibh Chomhan, 's uaisle strata, 
Is trie 'ni sgail do chith nan sian. 

Air mhodh 'thug barrachd ann am miadh 
So gniomh an Ti as treine neart 

Na dathun soillse agus ciar, [feart 

'N comh-bhoiun cuir mais 'air nial gacl 

Mo dhuthaich ! Aros gin nan cliar, 
Ri m' bheo dhuit togam m' iarrtas suas 

'S biodh seinn guth t'-aoibhneis dol a meud 

'Nuair bhith's mi 'n caidreamh cian n 



* N.B. Let Secularists please take notice how the author, without a thought b 
sure, of our Education Act or School Board squabbles, localises the birth of his morj 
and religious life, not in the church or manse, though he refers to both with love an 
respect, but in the school in which he Icained to read in the mountain tongue at onci 
and in English the book 

" That guides us on the heavenly road." 

"N. L." 

THE Paper recently read by Professor Blackie before the lloyal Society t 
Edinburgh on the question whether the Gaelic or the English of ('ssian 
the original, he has rewritten and extended, and it will appear in the ne> 
number of the C.M. 


A X T - E A C II U 11 S A X X. 


?HOUGII the custom of exacting the Each ursann, as it was termed in 
Sutherland, was common in that county in the day* that were, I had 
10 idea of its prevalence throughout the Highlands and Islands of Scot- 
ami till I read the article by " Sgiathanach " in the February number of 
he <~ 1 i'Uic Mwj'.izine. During the greater part of the seventeenth century, 
he practice of exacting by the chieftain, wadsetter, or tacksmen, the best 
lorse, or best head of cattle upon a farm, on the demise of its occupier, 
.ecms to have been common in the district of Sutherland, but it gradually 
-anished towards the close of that century, or during the beginning of 
he next. 

The last instance of it occurred, as well as can be ascertained, about 
he curly part of the eighteenth century at a place called Holmdarry on 
lie heights of Strathnaver. Its sequel had a more humane termination, 
mt not the less characteristic of the people involved than that recorded 
>y " Sgiathanach." 

Those acquainted with the history of Sutherland, especially the 
ustory of that portion of it designated the Reay country, and still called 
n. the vernacular Dntliaicli Mhic Aoidh, or Mackay's country, know that 
he whole of Strathnaver, " Sutherland's pride," belonged to Mackay of 
L'ongue, chief of the clan, afterwards Lord Reay. One of these chiefs 
tad a son, whose mother was a native of Lochaber, and as was not un- 
ominon in those days, being a younger son, he was reared by his mother's 
olatives in Lochaber. From this circumstance, it is said, he and his 
idants acquired the cognomen of Abairich. On his attaining man- 

>d he returned to his paternal home in Tongue, and during his father's 

lining years, and his elder brother's imprisonment for disobeying the 
:ing's mandate, he became the leader of his clan, and the intrepid guardian 
f their territory. So successfully did he perform the duties of his office 
& repelling every incursion attempted by his powerful neighbours in 
Sutherland and Caithness, that his brother, when released, in gratitude 
or his prudent and gallant conduct assigned him in fee .simple the 

nlr, of the upper parts of Strathnaver and wardenship of the marches. 
The descendants of this brave and intrepid warrior chieftain, patrony mi- 
ally called Cham Iain Abairich, continued wardens of the Marches between 
heir own clan territories, and Caithness, and Sutherland, till the " Suther- 
and Evictions," termed by the late Mr Loch " Improvements," cleared them 
.11 olf the lands they possessed, and which they nobly defended for cen- 
uries against all invaders. Brave, open-hearted, generous to a fault, 
espected for their prowess, famed as the most warlike of all the tribes 
nhabiting the provinces of Sutherland and Caithness they never be- 
rayed the trust reposed in them. Ever ready in the defence of their own 
erritories, they evinced equal readiness in the defence of the country 
vlien the services of brave men were sorely needed. In the Sutherland 
iencibles, lleay Fencibles, the Claim Abracli, were foremost in rank and 


numbers. Strathnaver alone supplied to the former, in 1793, 121 "William 
Mackays, and in the Beay Fencibles of ] 795-1802, 800 strong two-thirds 
were Mackays, of whom a great part were Abairic/i. The talented editor 
of Hob Dunn's Poems says of them, " Ilia dream araidh, do chlann Mine 
Aoid/t dha'n leas sloinneadh Abrach, cliionn gur ami an Loch-abair a 
dh'araicheadh an Ceann tiyhe o shean, ayus gur bean a mlminntir na iir 
sin bu mhathair dha, bit daoine ro Jliiughanta, TO ainmeil iad, 's a chin- 
neadh, fhada sa b/ia fcum agus meas air daoine uaisle, 's air gaisyiclt." 
From this worthy stock, of whom not a remnant is now left in the land of 
their forefathers, was descended a worthy son who was the means of doing 
away with the unfeeling custom of the Each ursann in the Iveay country, and 
gave the death-blow to the nefarious practice. Towards the end of the 
seventeenth century the youngest son of the Abaireach chieftain, named 
John, went into the army, and served under his famous clansman, General 
Hugh Mackay, at home and abroad. When he returned to his native 
Strathnaver, after the lapse of many years, he found all his father's family 
had in the meantime deceased, except a brother, who had become Avad- 
eetter or tacksman of Holmdarrie, better known as Fear Holmdarrie, 
who, it would appear, was a different dispositioned man from his younger 
brother John, and thought it still quite right and proper to observe and to 
exact an ancient custom. 

John's return to his native Strath, and the scenes of his youth was in the 
summer time. He met his elder brother, Fear Holmdarrie, in the fields at 
some distance from his house. The usual kindly and affectionate greetings 
of brothers long parted being over, they strolled together round the towiir 
ship. At that season of the year all cattle were sent off to the hill pas- 
tures, but on Hearing the house John, rather surprised at seeing a horse 
or two, and two or three head of cattle in a small fold, the former neigh- 
ing, the latter lowing, enquired of his brother the reason of the animals 
being kept in confinement. Fear Holmdarrie, with some hesitation, re- 
plied that they were the Each ursann. A dhuine gun Din (thou godless 
man) said John, " hast thou again revived that accursed custom, would it 
not be more Christian-like to give the widow and fatherless a horse, or a 
cow if thou couldst spare it rather than deprive them of their most likely 
all and only earthly stay 1 lieturn them ! return them ! otherwise I shall 
never bend my head under the lintel of thy house door." This adjura- 
tion had the desired effect. Immediate orders were given for the cattle to 
be returned to their respective owners, and so ended one unfeeling, one 
pernicious " feudal custom " in Sutherlandshire. 

This brave soldier and humane gentleman, direct descendant of the 
intrepid Abrach chieftain, afterwards settled in the upper parts of Strath- 
naver called Mudale (Muthadal), where he survived to an extreme old age, 
" surpassing many in the greatness of fame." He composed many moral 
and sacred hymns, known in the district as Eiridinn Iain Mhic Raibeart 
Mhic Neill, a term very familiar to my ears forty years ago, though I 
cannot remember having heard them repeated. It is, however, said that 
some of these hymns were published in Inverness twenty years ago, in a 
small volume, entitled "Metrical Eeliques of the 'Men' in the Highlands, 
or Sacred Poetry of the North." 


John Macrobert Macneill Mackay Abrach was a Christian man in 
every sense of the term, a constant visitor and supporter of the poor, the 
pick and afflicted. By his genial manners and kindliness of disposition, lie 
was a welcome guest in every household. In his time knives and forks were 
not common articles in every cottage, as they no\v-a-days are. One knife, 
however, Avas always to be found, generally with a heft of deer horn, from 
which, no doubt, sprang the Syian dubh of the Highland dress. When 
beef, mutton, or venison was served, the dish was a wooden one, and 
placed before the " gudeman," who put his hand behind him to a small 
aperture in the cottage wall, drew forth the knife and cut the meat, each 
member of the family helping himself or herself with the natural five 
pronged fork. On any occasion Avhen a stranger of higher estimation than 
the "gudeman" happened to be a guest, the meat was always placed 
before him as occupying the seat of honour, anil as a matter then of 
common courtesy. Our hero, when far advanced in years, beyond the 
allotted span, happened to be in a house where he was called upon to per- 
form the duty described. After several ineffectual attempts to carve the 
meat before him, he put forth his left hand, and drawing his thumb across 
what he supposed to be the edge of the knife, but which in reality was 
the back of it, he laid it down, exclaiming 

Ach dh'innis a chorc-chibair, 
Gu'm bheil mi fada san t saoghal, 
O'n nacli eil again do shuilean, 
Na dh'aithuicheas cul bho faobhar. 

It may be interesting to readers of Eob Bonn's poems to know that it 
was upon this brave and Christian gentleman, "one of the olden time," the 
poet composed one of his finest elegies 

Thug an t-aog uainn 'n ar n' amharc, 

Much a' dithrcabh Strath-namhuir, 

'N t-aon fear nach d'fhag sambuil 'n a dbeigh. 

Ctiis ardain nan Abracb, 
Laimh lilidir nach bagradh, 
Iain failteach Mac liaibeurt 'Ic N6ill. 

Corpa calm a, bha fearail, 
Inntinn earbsach, l;tn onoir, 
Liiuili a dhcaibhadh na chanadh am l.eul. 

la mur fior domh na thubhairt, 
Mu na cliriosdaidh bu nihodba, 
Leigeam 'fhianuis air Muthadal fein. 


NOTE. This month we appear, as promised in our last, in a New Cover, 
and with a Gaelic Supplement. Our intention is to keep improving and en- 
larying the Magazine in proportion as our monthly increasing circulation will 


By DONALD CAMPBELL, Member of the Gaelic Society of London.* 

AN T-EILEAN Ged nacli 'eil an t-eilean so ach gle bheag, tlia e ro 
ainmeil. Tlia e suidhichte air taobh an iar-dlieas eilein Mhuile, ami a 
sgireaclid Chilfhinichean, Sioriamachd Arragliaidlieil. Tlia e air a 
sgaradh OP Eos Mhuileach le Gaol cumhann mini cuairt do leth-mhile air 
lend agus tlia alum aige o'n eilean fein, "Caol-I." 

An am lionadh agns traigheadh tlia sruth laidir o'n clman an iar a 
ruith troimhe a steach 's a mach, coslach ri abhainn bhras, agus gu 
sonraichte an am doinionn a glieamliraidh, bithidh an fhairgc air nairean clio 
bnaireasach 's nacli nrrainn bata dhol thairis air ; acli an uair a bliios an 
airnsir math, tha nioran eisg ga ghlacadli ami 'sa chaol so, gu sonraiclite 
liabagau. Tha 'n t-eilean fein mu thimchioll tri mile air fad agus aon-gu- 
leth air lend. 

Ma thig am fear-turuis thnige o'n taobh an ear, mar as minic a thachras, 
chi e aghaidh na tire iosal, agus ag aomadh ris an fhairgc air taobh a 
Chaoil, ach ma thig e o'n taobh-tuath, chi e am fearann ag eiridli suas na 
thulaichean bana gain'mhich. Tha an grnnnd air a chuid as mo couih- 
nard, ged a tha e an snd agus a so air a bhviseadh le cnnic bheaga chreagach. 
Tha aon chnoc ard air an taobh an iar, do'n ainrn, "Dun-I" tha e 
'g eiridh os cionn na fairge ma thimchioll ceithir-cheud troidh (400 ft.), 
agus o mhullach, tha an sealladh ro thaitneach. Tha na cnuia sin, agus 
na lagan a tha eatorra, air an comhdachadh sail t-samhradh le feur bear- 
tach gorm, air am faigh an spreidli pailtoas ioiialtraidh. 

Uile gu leir, cha'n eil aghaidh na tire os cionn da mliile acair Shas- 
unnach, agus tha imui cuairt se ceud dhiu fo aiteachadh. 

Cha n'eil acarsaid na caladh 'san eilean so a bheiridh fasgadh do bhata 
an am droch shide. 

An uair a thig Soitheach-na-smuid le luchd turuis leigidh i a h-acair 
sios air grunnd gain'mhich ami an geodha beag nia choinneamh na li-ard- 
eaglais (cathedral), agus tha'n luchd-taodhail air an toirt air tir, ann am 
bataichean beaga, air na creagan carrach ; oir, cha da thog iad laibhrig 
fhathast anns an aite. Air taobh an iar-dheas an eilein, tha geodha 
beag do'n aimn Port-a-churraich, far am faod daoine thighinn air tir a 
nuair a bhios an fhairge seimh, agus mu chreideas sinn benl-aithris, 's ann 
an so a thainig Colum-Cille agus na daoine a bha maille ris air tir an uair 
a thainig iad o Eirinn nan curach, agus s'ann mar so a fhuair e ainm. 

Dluth dha tha dronnag, na tullaich bheag do thalumh, tri fichead 
troidh air fad, coslach ri bata air a tionndadh druim air uachdar ; agus 
tha e air aithris, gun do chuir ua daoine so suas e mar chuimhneachan air 
an threasdal a thug sabhailte gu tir iad, agus gu gleidlieadh cunntas air 
meud a bhata aims na ghabh iad an t-aiseag. 

* When sending us the MS., Mr Campbell wrote, "I have been forty years out of 
the Highlands, and during that time, till I joined the Gaelic Society of London, three 
years ago, I scarcely heard a word of Gaelic spoken, so that I have been completely out 
of practice." We leave our Gaelic friends to apportion their acknowledgments between 
this sturdy Celt and the patriotic Society which brought him out of his Saxon land of 
(mental) bondage. [ED. C.M.]. 


AN UAMHA SPUTACH Tlia an t-iongantas nadurra so air an taobh an 
iar do'n eilean, a measg clireagan ard, gharbh, agus chruaidh. Tlia '11 
uamh domhain, agus aig uile staid an lain-mhara tha an fhairge an 
comlinuidh a ruith l a stigli innte. Toisicliidh an sputadh an nair a bhios an 
Ian aig airde shonraichte, agus a reir coslais, tacliraidli e mar so: 

Thig tonn a stigh le mor-neart, agus lionaidli o gu buileach beul na 
h-uamha, agus tha ghaoth, nan t-adlmr a tlia stigli innti 1 air a dhiong- 
adli ri chcile gu fuathasach dlutli a nis, a nuair chailleas an tonn a 
spionnadh, tha an t-adhar o 'n taobli a stigh a sgaoileauh a inacli le ain- 
neart tha an tonn a nis air Ionian a mach le foirneart cho nior sa 
thainig e stigh. Ach aig mullach na h-umha tlia siinileir, na toll nior, 
agus an nair a tha an da chumhachd so a stri ri cheilc, tha iomadh tunna 
do'n t-'saile air a thilgeadh suas troinih 'n toll, le steall ard anus an athar, 
no mar a their na Frangaich, un grand jet dean, agns tha ghaoth a ga 
sgapadh na smud min, agus ga ghiulan air falbh mar dheathaeh o' bhenl 
amhuinn no furnais. Ma bhios an la grianacli faodaidh am fear-amhairc, 
bogha frois fhaicinn a measg na smnid a tha daonnan ag eireadh os cionn 
na h-uamha so.* 

Ma chumas sinn nar cuimlme gu bheil Ian chumhachd a chuain siar 
a bualadh a stigh air na cladaichean fiadhaich sin, cha n'urrain sinn a bhi'ii 
teagamh nach 'oil a chunntas so nor. 

Gu dearbh cha'n urrainn mi dheanadh na's fearr, na chuir an ceill 
dhuibh ciod a thuirt am bard Muileach, Callum a Ghlinne, ma dheibh- 
inn : 

Chi mi na stuadhun nuallach baidealach, 
Bualadh gu tvom ri bonn a gharaidh, 
'S lunn an iar-chuain le fuaim a sadadh, 
Ri car-bhulaig stallach nan cos. 

Anns an dol seachad bheir mi fainear gu 'm faod sinn a thuigsinn o'n 
obair a tha dol air aghart aim an so, cia mav a tha na mucan-mara, 
a chithear cho bitheanta aims na fairgeachan an iar, a cur suas na sputan 
arda, a tha daonnan nan cuts neonachais do mhuinntir a tha mi-chleaclidta 

AIXMKAXXAX AX EiLEiN Cha 'n oil a h-aon do na h-ainmea:inan a 
thugadh do'n oilcan so, gcd a tha iad, a reir sgriohhaidh, ro-choslarh ri 
eheilo, nnch bun dim, mar nite foghluim agus diadhachd, agus aig nach 'oil 
am bun amis a chanain Cheltich fein. 

InHish-iian-Dnri'lhnearli'nia. an t-ainm so ro shcan, agus a ivir 
barail, se an t-ainm a fhunir an t-eilean air tus, fada mun robh cividramh 
Chriosd air a thoirt a dli' ionnsuidh nan cilcanan Broatunnadi. Tlia am 
focal TimMi, a ciallachadh eilean, agus mar so, cluinnoar an t-ainn 7/<///W/, 
jia Kil.-an nan druidhneach," a measg muinntir na tire gus an la 'n 

An deigh do Choluinlja a bin comhnuidh ann's an eiloan, bha moran 
Klianl.h-chreidiiuh a talaidh ris mar ait-ndhlaiculh, agus ami an ceann tim 
thainig an da chuid an t-Kilean agns a Chill gu bin air an aunnrarliadh 
air. k- mo bharail cuideachd, gu'n robh na h-ainmeannan gomtt, I, 
"lice," "Jly," "Y," "Ii," "Hyona," " I-hona," agns li lona, ' air an 
|piathachadh direach mar atlighion-as airson an ainni fluula In> 

'' See "Antiquities of lona " by II. D. Graham, Esq., page 26. 


Chuluim- Chille, agus mar so gu bheil am bun ac' uile gu leir aim's an f hocal 
" Innis." Be cleachdadh nan seann sgriobhadairean a bhi sgriobhadh nan- 
ainmeannan sin, ach cha'n eil a h-aon diubh a sgriobh an t-ainm 
" lona,"* ged is se so an t-ainm a tha fasanta aig na h-uile, aig an la 'n 
diugli, ach inuinntir na tire fein, a tha leantainn fhathast ris an ainm 
ghoirid " I." 

Tha cuid do dhaoine foghluimte a toirt fainear do bhrigh s gu 
'bheil am focal Columba anns an Laidinn, agus lona aims an Eabhra, 
a ciallachadh caiman, gun robh an t-eilcan air ainmeachadh o sin, a chum 
onaif a chuir air Columba ; ach god a tha so ro-innleachdach agus daicheal 
cha'n urrainn mi gabhail ris. Tha am focal gun teagamh, o'n Ghailig mar 
a tha na focail eile, ged a tha e air a ghiorrachadh o'n t-seann ainm " I- 
shona," se sin, an t-Eilean naomh, no sona, agus 'sann mar so a tha e am 
bitheantas air ainmeachadh leis na daoine foghluimte a sgriobh ma dheibh- 
inn anns an Laidinn, Insula sancta. Mar chultaice don 'n bharail so, 
faodaidh mi aithris gun d'thug buidheann do dhaoine diadhaidh, a chaidh 
a mach o'n eilean leach a sgaoileadh an t-Soisgeul aim a Sasuinn, an 
t-ainm ceudna (Holy Island) do dh'eilean beag (Lindisfarne) a tha mach o 
chladach Northumberland, far an do shuidhich iad eaglais, mar a tha 
Bcde ag innseadh dhuinn, agus a reir cleachdaidh nan Albannach (Scots), 
gun do thog iad i de dh'fhiodh daraich (oak) agus gun robh i air a tubhadh 
le civile. t A reir eachdraidh, rinn an eaglais so bunnachar do chathair 
an easbuig ann an Durham. 

naich air tus do'n duthaich so, ma thimchioll cuig-deug agus da 
fhichead bliadlma roimh bhreith Chriosd (55 B.C.), agus a thug iad 
biiaidh air na seann Bhreatunnaich a bha san am sin san tir, tha fios 
agaiim, o eachdraidh na h-aoise sin, gun da theich na Breatunnaich 
air falbli an deigh moran coimhstri, gu taobh an iar agus taobh an iar- 
thuath Bhreatuinn, far an d'fhuair iad fasgadh agus sitli o'n naimhdean, 
a measg bheanntan na Coimreich (Wales), aiteachan fiadhaich eile, ach gu 
sonraichte na Draoidhean (Druids). Chuir iad suas ard-sgoilean (colleges) 
anns na h-eileanan an iar agus an iar-thuath, agus tha e air aithris gun 
robh sgoilean do'n t seorsa so ann an eilean Anglesea, agus ann an eilean I. 
Ma chumas sinn nar cuimhne an t-ainm, Innis-nait-drmdhneach, agus, gu 
bheil fhathast air taobh an iar eilean I, seann laraichean ro choslach ri 
laraichean Dhruidhneach a tha ri fhaicinn aims an eilean Mhuileach, 
air an taobh eile do Chaol I, tha e ro-choslach gun do chuir na Draoidhean 
suas ard-sgoil anns an aite so.J 

Do bhrigh 's gun robh an darach ro-inheasail am measg nan Druidh- 
neach os cionn uile chraobhan na coille, tha cuid do dhaoine a smuaineach- 
adh gu bheil am focal Draoidh (Druid) air a tlioirt o'n Ghreigis drus 
(darach). Ach am bheileidir coslach gun rachadh na Ceiltich Bhreatunnach 
(hum na (lreugais,a dh'iarraidh ainm do chraobhan, agus a rithist.gum bindh 

* See Dr Lindsay Alexander's " lona," page 11, 2d note. f Eccl. Hist. lib. 3, c. 25. 

The Kev. AY. Lindsay Alexander, D.D., in Ms "lona," after speaking of the 

various ecclesiastical remains of this placo, remnrks that there are two helonging to a, 

still earlier date, and pointing to forms of worship an I belief different from those of 

Christianity. These are the " Circular Cairns " which aie found in various parts, and 

geeni to have been of Druidical origin. 


daoine bha clio nrramach n'ani measg, air an ainmeaehadh o'n darach no 
o chraobh sain bith rile ? Se mo bharail gun d'fliuair iad c anus' a chanain 
Chciltich fhein, Draoidh, no Druidh, .- sin, duine glic, no foghluiinte; oir, 
bha an Draoidh na phearsa fein, na shagairt, na fhcar -ceartais, na sgoildr, 
agus na lighichc. 

daoine am bitheantas a ceadachadli gun d' rinn na treubhan Cdltcach 
suas pairt do'n inheall nihor sbluaigh sin a chuir iad fcin air ghluasad 
o dhara crcathail a cliinne'-daoiue aim's an airde car, agus a dh'imich 
mu'n iar agus mu'n iar-thuath, thairis air an I\oinn-eorpa, agus mar an 
ceudna, gun robh na Druidhnich na measgsan a thainig air tus, agus gun 
d'thug iad leo, neo-thruaillte, an can;) in, an creideamh, agus an cleachd- 
aidhean fein ; agus gun do glileidh iad, mar sin iad, re ioiuadli aois, gu 
sonraichto amis na h-eileanan Breatunnach ; oir tha Ceusar ag innse 
dluiinn (Coasar de Bello Gall. lib. vi.) gun robh daoiu' oga le'm bu 
mhiann a blii nan sagairt, a tigbinn o dhuthchan eile chum 's gu faigbcadk 
iad an creideamh h'orgblan, mar a blia e air a theagasg anus na h-eilfianean 
Breatunnach. Xach fhaod sinne a bhi glc cliiuntcacli gu'm b'iad so 
eileanean Anyle.sea agus Innis-nan-druidhneaoh. 

Co fad 's a tha c comasach dhuinn a dheanainh inach, o'n blieagan 
eolais a tb' again n niu dbcibhinn nan J^raoidbean, theagaisg iad creid- 
eaiub aim an aon dia, a dh'aimuich iad Beat, .so sin bcath-uile 
(Smith's Gael. Antg., p. 1C), agus mar so, gle choslach ri Baal, dia nan 
riicnicbeanach, agus gun d'rinn iad aoradh do'n ghrein mar shandda' air; 
oir, mar a thuig iads' o, be sin beafha-utle agus co 's urrainn a radh gun 
robh iad fada 'm mearachd, oir, tha fios againn gur i a ghrian a ni as ailte, is 
gloinnhoire, agus is cumhachdaiche, fo cliumhaclid an Dia bhco agus fhior, 
a tha aims an t-saoghul. 

Be an cleaelidadh a bhi cruinneachadh aig taobh shruthain uisge fo 
sgatli cliraoblian mom daraich, far an d'rinn iad cearcaill, no ratli do 
chlaehan mora, mun cuairt dhoibh, o f hit-head troidhgu deich thar f hichead 
slat air tharsuinn, agus aim a mcadlion nan cearcall so, cliuir iad a 
chroinleac, no an altair be sin clach mhor leathann, air a taiceadh suas le 
tri dilachan eile, a bha 'gaomadh beagan a dh'aon tiiobh. 

Bha aiteaehan ard aca, cuideachd, coslaeh ris na Cinnich eile. ]>o sin 
clachan, no cuirn mhora do chlachan, air mullach chnoc, far an d'thug iad 
aoradh do'n ghrein. Ach cha'n eil e ro-cliinnteach da mar a rinn iad so. 
Tha cuid do dJiaoiue ag iunse dhuinn, gun do chuir iad moran suim 
aim a bhi dol triuairean mun cuairt air a chearcall naomh, on aird an ear 
gus an aird an iar, a rrir cursa na greine, agus mar sin, a ciallachadh, gum 
be 'miann a bhi umhail do thoil agus do ordugh Dhia mar a tha e air a 
leigeadh ris aim an oibribh na cruithejichd.* 

Tha iios againn gu blieil e fhathast air a chuuntadli mi-slioalbhach, le 
moran sums a C.haidhealtachd, a bhi cuir a bhotuil mun cuairt air dhoigh 
sain liith eile ach a reir cursa na greine; agus nach fhaod c bliith, gun 
d'lluiuig an ch-achdadh so a nuas o' na Druidhnich, gus an tiiu so. 

Tha Ceasar, agus ioinadh aon eile do na- scann .-gric.Miadaireaii, a cur 
anceill, gun d'thug iad suas, maille ri iobairtean eile, daoine mar iobairtean, 

* Smith's Gaelic Antig., p. 38, 


aim am Ibllais, agus corr uair, aim an uaigncas, Bha na daoine air an cuir beo 
ami am bascaidean mora, os cionn teine, agus air an losgadh ; oir, ann an am 
cogaidh, gortaidh, na tinneis mhoir, bha na Draoidhean am beachd gun robh 
Dia diombach riu, agus gum be so an aoii doigh air a dheanadh toilichto. 

Am bitlicantas, se droch dhaoine bha mar so air an iobi-adh, ach air 
amannaii araidh, bha daoine nco-chiontach a fulang mar an ccudna.* 

Ged a bha an cleachdadh so ro-bhorb, agus a Itigeadh ris aineolais air 
nadur Dhia mar a tha e air a chur an ccill aims a Bhiobull, bha iomadh id 
eile a thcagaisg iad a bha maith. 

Thuig iad an dealachadh cadar math agus olc, gu bheil anain an 
duinc nco-bhasmhor- gu feuni daoine cunntas a thoirt do Dhia an dcigh 
am bais gun rachadh daoine maith do dh'eilean aluinn air an d'thug iad 
mar a. inn Flath-Innis ; se sin, eilean nan gaisgeach, agus cluiunear an 
t-ainui so f'hatbast anus a Ghaidhealtaehd, airson neamh. 

Bha na droch dhaoine a dol gu eilean eilc a bha anabarrach 
fuar, don d'thug iad mar ainm, Ifrinn, far nach ruigeadh aon ghath o'n 
ghrehi iad gu brath far am biodh iad air an lot le nathraichean nimhe, 
agus air an cuir a chaoidh gu trioblaid, le beistean uamhasach eile. 

FEILLTEAN NAN DRUIDHNEACH Ma dheibhinn feilltean nan Druidh- 
neach, bha dha dhiu ro-mheasail a Bliealtuinn agus an t-Samhuinn. 

Be la Bealtuinn a cheud la do'n M/iagh (May) ; air an la so mar an 
ceudna thoLsich a bhliadhn' ur agus, mar sin, Ceitein nam bard. Air an la 
so bha teine mor air fhadadh, (Beul-teine) air mullach cnuic araidh a chum 
onair a chuir air a glirein, a thug muii cuairt blaths agus aoibhneas a 
Cheitdn, an deigli fuachd agus gruaim a Gheamhraidh. 

Bha feill na Samhna air a cumail air a cheud la do'n t-seachdamh 
inios, (1st Xovember)t. Tha 'm focal a ciallachadh tdne-na-sitli, (hre of 
peace) ; oir, aig an f heill so, rinn na Draoidheau ceartas eadar duine agus 
duinc, agus bha sith agus gairdeachas air an toirt a measg an t-sluaigh. 
Aig an f heill so, cuideachd, bha h-uile teine air a chuir as, anus gacli tigh, 
a chum 's gu lasaclh iad a rithisd e o'n teine naomh a bha air fhadadh, agus 
air a bheannachadh, leis na Draoidhean. J jS^uair a bha amharas aca 
gun d'rinn duine sam bith droch ghniomh, agus nach b'urrainn iad a 
chionta 'dhearbhadli air dhoigh s'am bith eile, chuir iad gu c/al>lt<i.<lh Bheil 
e ; be sin, dol cos-ruisgte tri uairean troinih theine na Samhna. Ma 
thainig e sabhailt troimh 'n teine, cha robh e ciontach, ach air an laimh 
eile, mu bha e air a losgadh, bha Dia ga dhiteadh, agus bha e air a chuir 
gu pcanas craiteach, agus air uairean, gu bas. Ma tluonndas sinn gu leabh- 
ar Dheut. (18. 10-12), e\i\ sinn gun do thoirmisg Dia an cleachdadh 
graincal so. 

A thuilleadh air na feilltean sin, chum iad lanachd, no iomlanachd, na 

Air an t-seathamh la d'on ghealaich, reachadli iad a mach do na coilltean 
a dli'f haotainn an luibh phrisoil sin, an nil' foe, na ic (mi.ssletoc), a bha 

* Stnibo, Sentonius, Lucan, Pmtrarcb, Diodoius Siculus, Ammiananus Marcellinus, 
confirm this account of Csesar. Lib. iv., p. 103, Eg. Casnnbon. Amst. 1707. 

f Hallow-tide or All Souls' Day, also Hallowe'en. 

J Dr Smith cites a passage froia Corlase's Aiitiqities of Cornwall, stating that the 
Gaelic Councils had to forbid the lighting of these fires on Hallow-eve on the pain of 


fas air an darach, agus an uair a tliaclu-aclk iad ris, l)hu e na aobhar mor 
ghairdeachais dhoibh, agus dheanadh iad aoradh dha. Tha an t-ainiu 
a thug iad dha, arsa PUni (Pliny), a ciallachadh n in canain fein, nil' 
li'Hjlteas (heal-all). Fhuair iad a sin da tharbli, bainne-gheal (milkwhite), 
agus an deigh dhoibli an adhaircean a chcangal a eheud uair, dhiricli an 
sagart, sgeadaiehte le trusgan geal, suas air a chraoibh, agus ghearr e an 
luibli le corran 6ir; ghlaeadh e aim an clcoca geal, agus an deigh na tairbh 
iobradh, ghuidh iad air Dia gu'n deanadh e a ihabhartas fein scalbhach 

Tha iad, arsa PUni, smuaineachadh, ma dh'olas iad e (i.e., a shugh), 
gun leighis e ainmhidhean a tha neo-thorrach, agus gu'n learuinn e iad 
o na li-uile seorsa puinnseimi.* His. nat. lib. xvi., cap. 44. 

Bha an eachdraidh, air a chuid bu mho, air a gleidheah aim am bardachd, 
ablia cur suas cliu nan gaisgeach, ach bha cuid do'n bhardachd modhanoch 
(ethical), agus a cur an ceill gliocais nan Draoidhean, agus tha cuid do 
dhaoine a creidsinn, gu bheil air fhagail againn fhathasd eiseimplcir do'n 
t-seorsa sin, aim an Trianaidean (Triads) nam bard Coimreach (Welsh 
bards), agus c'ait a' bheil an Gaidheal a chuireas an teagamh, nacli 'eil 
ngainn aim am bardachd Osein, duain Ghaidhlig, a tha oo dhiu cho scan 
ri am nan Druidhneach. 

Cliuir Lncan, na Pharsalia, luaidh air na baird sin, mar so : 

You too, ye bards ! whom sacred rapture fire, 
To chant your heroes to your country's lyre ; 
Who consecrate in your immortal strain, 
Brave patriot souls in righteous battle slain. 
Securely now the tuneful task renew, 
And uoblest themes in deathless songs pursue. 

Cha 'n eil e ro-chinnteach gu'n robh eolas aigna Druidlmich air oalaiu 
sgriobhaidh, ach ma bha, tha aon ni soilleir, se sin, nacli d'fhag iad morau 
nan deigh dheth. 

Tha e ro choslach gun robh an teagasg aca gu leir, labhrach, agus air 
a chumail suas a nihain, le beul-athris. 

Chuala Cicero, mar a tha e 'g-innseadh dhuinn, gun d'thug iad moran 
aiiv, do dli't'hiosrachadh a inach, ordugh agus laghaiman obair na cruith- 
eachd, agus gu'n do theagaisg iad do na daoine oga 'bha nan sgnilfan, 
ma thimchioll nan reultan, m'an gluasadan, ma mheud an t-saoghail, agus 
ma chumhachd nun diathan neo-bhasmhor* (De bello Gall. lib. vi.^ 

An am an-shocair, no tirmeis mor sam bith, chuir na treublian Ceilt- 
each, coslach ris na Cinnich uile, moran carbsa aim an siantan (charms), 
agus am measg nan rud faoin' so, bha a ghloine ro-ainmeal. S<>'n t-ainiu a 
thug PUni do'n ni so ovum aitf/itinuin, se sin, ubh nn nutltrach- - oir thug 
na Draoidhean a mach gu'n robh iad air am faotainn o nathraichean, le 
moran seoltachd agus cunnart, mar a tha 'n rann so a cuir an ceill, 

* The philosophical narrator, says Dr Lindsay Alexander, winds up his account by 
the pithy reflection : " So great is the religiousness of the nations in matters for thi 
most part frivolous." A just enough remark, observes Dr Alexander, but which he might 
have applied nearer home, for the Druids had less of it than Pliny's own countrymen, 
the flamens, the augurs, and Pontiffs of the Roman Mythology. 

"A polytheist might speak of a monotheist sacrificing to the immortal gods the 
phraseology would be natural to one who always thought and spoke of the objects of nw 
own worship in the plural. Dr Alexander's " lona," page 34, 


. . . . The potent adder stone, 
Gendered 'fore the autumnal moon, 
When in undulating twine 
The foaming snakes prolific join ; 
When they hiss, and when they bear 
Their wondrous egg aloof in air ; 
Thence before to earth it fall, 
The Druid in his hallowed pall 
Receives the prize ; and instant flies, 
Followed by the envenomed brood, 
Till he cross the crystal flood. 

A reir aogais, clia robli ni sam bith anns na h-uibhean so acli paideirein 
a bha air an deanamh do ghloine air iomadli meudachd agus seorsa dath. 
Ach cha do chuir na Draoidhean earbsa gu buileach amis na nitliean 
amaideach so ; oir, tlia Plinf. 'g-innsc dhuinn gu'n d' rinn iad feum mar an 
ceudna do luibhean, gu sonraiclite an uil-ioc, mar a thuirt mi cLcana, an 
Selago (Junipcrus Sabina) agus an Samolus, gne 'lus a blia fas aim an bog- 
laichean (marshes), agus gu bhi uidliseil gu leiglieas galair, no tinncas a 
measg sprcidh ; acli os cionn gacli uile ni, cluiir iad moladli air stuamachd, 
surdalaclid, agus gluasadachd, no saoithreach chorporra, agus clia'n f liaod mi 
'dhi-chuimhneachadh, gun do theagaisg iad gu duraclidach, nacli robh sta 
ann an cungaidh leigliis air bith, as eugmhais beannaclid Dhia. 

A reir Strabo, blia tri orduighean a measg nan Draoidhean. Be a cheud 
ordugh, an Sagart, be so an Draoidh ceart, mar a their sin, a thug ainm, 
cha be 'mhain do na Draoidhean, ach do'u treubh uile, na Druidhuich, 
Be dreuchd an t-sagairt a bhi frithealadh do'n Chreideamh, bha e mar 
an-ceudna na fhear-ceartais agus na fhear-lagha. An deigh an t-sagairt 
thainig am Bard ; Be a dhleasanas a bhi cur an ceill, mar a dh'ainraich 
mi roimhe, ann a ranntachd, eachdraidh an treubh uile, ach gu sonraichte 
a moladli nan gaisgeach. An deigh a Bhaird thainig an Faidh (vates, or 
ouates),* Be 'faidh, am feallsanach (philosopher) am measg an treubh. 
Be a ghnothaich sa 'bhi toirt fainear oibrichean Naduir, agus a bhi 'g innse 
roimh laimh ciod a bha gu tachairt. 

Tha reusan againn a bhi creidsinn gun robh Ard-Sgoilean do gach 
inbhe aig an am sin, ann an iomadh aite ; ach ged a bha iad dealaichte o 
cheile agus neo-eisiomaileach, bha iad uile, fo ughdarras Ard-Shagairt na 
Coibhi-Druidh, mar a bha e air ainmeachdh. Bha an oifig so cho urram- 
ach, 's gu'n robh na h-uile neach a. toirt umhlachd dlia, agus a cur muin- 
ghinn na dheagh run, agus na fhocal, mar lagh Dhia. Tha so air a Icig- 
eadh ris dhuinu anns a ghnath-f hocal : t 

Ge fagus clach do'n lar, 

'S faigse na sin cobhair Choibhi. 

Smith's Gaelic Antiquities, p. 8. 

Bha dealachadh mor eadar eideadh nan Draoidhean agus eideadh an 
t-sluaigh eile. Air na Draoidhean bha'n trusgan uachdarach a ruigheachd 
nan sailtean, cha ruigeadh e ach an glun air daoine eile, Bha feus- 

* While Strabo gives the Orders as above, Ammianus Marcellinus gives the last, 
" Eubages." Dr W. Lindsay Alexander starts the hypothesis, that probably Ammianus 
Las mistaken the candidates or pupils for one of the Orders, and that " Eubages" is a 
corruption for the Celtic etiphaiste (good or promising youth). 

t The Arch-Druid was chosen for life, when the office was vacant, if there was no 
one of unquestioned superiority, a person to fill it was elected by the suffrages of the rest. 
Sometimes, however, it was decided by an appeal to arms. Cassar de Bells. Gall. lib. vi. 



agan nan Draoidhean ro-fhada, air mhuintir cilc, scach na bilean uachd- 
rach, goirid. Ghiulain gsicli aon dhiu sgian air dhealbh araidli, ceang- 
ailte air an crios, "bha cunticluk-au goal air an ceann, air an deanamh 
dreachmlior lo obair oir, a l>ha air dhealbh fuaragaiu (fan-shaped) slat 
gheal, sian, air ubh-dhealbh, a bha air iom-dhruideadh ann an or, agus 
air a clirochadh o'n mhuirieal, agus os cionn gacli ui eilc, bha peall gheal 
(white pallium). 

A bharr air na trusgain sin, bha aig an Ard-Dhraoidh, cleoca geal, aig 
an robh ioniall air a dheanadh maiseach le 6r, ma thimchioll a mhuineal, 
bha slabhraidh 6ir, agus o'n t-slabhraidh ein, bha crechte, nu'r tana do 
dh'or, air an robh sgriobhte na focail, " Tha na diathan ag iarraidh iob- 
airt." Air aghaidh a churaichd bha iomhaigh na grcino do dh'or, to leth 
gealaiche do dh'airgiod, a bha air a curnail suas le da Dhraoidh, aon aig 
gach bior (cusp), dhith.* 

Chaith am Bard, maraon, cleoca geal,. ach currachd ghorm, agus 
air a deanadh sgiaiuhach le 6r, air chumadh na h-ur-ghealaich (crescent- 

Air an Fhaidhe bha cleoca glas, no speur-ghorm (sky-blue), le curachd 
gheal air a h-ainmeachadh, curachd an Fhaidh, agus bo 'shuaicheantas, rion- 
nag 6ir, air an robh sgriobhte, " Bheir breitheanas Dhia peanas geur 
do dh'aingidheachd." 

Cha'n eil teagamh nach do dhaingnich an sgeadachadh riomhach sin 
mar bu mhiann leo, cumhachd nan Draoidhean os cionn an t-sluaigh ; oir, 
's ann thuige so a bha'n reachdan agus an cleachdaidhean uile gu leir ag 

Ach, ma bhoir sinn fainear an t-aineolas agus a mhi-riaghailt, a bha san 
am sin, cha'n e mhain a' measg nan Ceilteach, ach a' measg nan uile shluaigh 
ma'n d'thainig creideamh Chriosd na'm measg, feumaidh sinn aideachadh 
gu'n robh uachdarana'chd nan Draoidhean suidhichte air bonn na b'fhearr 
na bonn ceilg agus fein-bhuannachd. Ach air an laimh eile, ged a bha na 
seann riaghailtean so 'ga'n cleachdadh o am nam priomh-athraichean gu 
tim lulias Ceasar, clii sinn gu'n robh e neo-chomasach an sluagh a thogail 
leo, ach gle bheag, gu finealtachd agus deadh-bheusan. 

Faodaidh sinn fhaicinn mar an ceudna nach cuir runsan an duino, na 
beul-athris, a mhain, air aghart, ach gu staid araidli, riaghailt-i-hrcideamh 
air bhith. Gun chomhnadh o thaisbeanadh Dhe, 's ann a thcid e air ak 

'S ann direach mar so a thachair do na treubhan Ceilteach uile, ach gu 
sonraichte do na Druidhnich Bhreatuinneach. Chaidh iad air ais, a bbeag 
.8 a bheag, re iomadh ghinealacli, dh'iobair iad simplidheuclid a chreidrimli 
'mar a fhuair iad e o na priomh-athraichean, gus an d'thainig iad fo 
smachd agus thamailte na'n Romanach ; agus a' .sin dh'fhosgail iad, mar 
gu'm b'ann, am broilleach do chi-eideamh ioma-dhiathach nam Pagan.ich 
uaibhreach sin. 

Mar a thubhairt mi roimhe, fhuair cuid dhiu uaignc-as agus fasgac 
ann an eileanan I agus Anglesea, far an d'fhuirich iad car aimsir a cur 
an cloachdaidh,diomhaireachd agus deas-ghnath an crcuk-imh, ged a bha iad 
a nis air an cuir suarach le'n naimlidean. Ach aig a cheart am a bha na 

* These were the dresses of the ordinary, and arclvdruids M quoted from Mr and 
Mrs S. C. Hall's Ireland, vol. i., P. 2%, by W. Liudsay Alexander, D-D, 


Pruidhnich, mar so, air an isleachadh, bha freasdal Dhia ga'n deanamh 
ullamh, a chum greim a ghabhail air Spisgeul Chriosd. 
'S aim mar so a sheinn Wordsworth : 

The Julian spear 

A way first opened ; and with Roman chains, 
The tidings came of Jesus crucified ; 
They come, they spread : the weak, the suffering hear ; 
Receive the faith, and in the hope abide. 

" Faodaidh e bhith," arsa sgriobhadair d' ar tim fein,* "gu'n robh an 
cveideamh Druidlmeach na bn glilaine na saobh-chreiduamh Paganacli 
air bitli eile, agus air thaobli gliocais, gu'n robli o na b'fhearr na h'uilo 
reachd a b' urrainn duine a clmr suas. Acli tha a'r creideamlme Diatli- 
ach " (divine). 

Anns a bliliadhna cuig-ceud agus tri, no ceithir, thar thri ficbead 
(563-4), thainig Colum Cille a nail aEirinn, agus a dba-dliuine-dbeug eile 
maille ris, agus, inar a db'ainmich mi roimlie, thainig iad air tir aim am 
Port-a-Chuirich, air feasgar a chcud di-luain do'ii Ehealtuinn. Gbabli iad 
an t-aiseag aim an curacb, no bata, bb' air a deanamh do shlatan caoil, air 
am fighe coslacli ri croidhleag, no bascaid mhor, agus bha so, a rithist, air a 
chomhdach le croicionn, na seicheannan bh6, ga deanamh dionach. 

Cha'n ann gun trioblaid a bha e comasach do na daoine iiaomha sin a 
bhi cxtr suas aims an tir ; oir, bha na Druidhnich ro-mhiothlachdach agus 
ro mi-chairdeil riu, '11 uair a thing iad gu'm be'n run stad anns an eilean. 
Cha be sin uile, ach thainig daoine borb o'n eilean Mhuileach a chuideach- 
adh leo, gu'n cuir air falbh, agus chuir iad Colum Cille iomadh uair an 
cunnart a bheatha 'chall. Tha Bede ag innse dhuinn an uair a chaidh 
Colum Cille a dh'ionnsuidh Bhrude, righ nam Piceach, a chum 's gu 
faighcadh e dion o naimhdean (oir, anns an am sin, bhuineadh I do'n 
rioghachd Phicich), dhuin iad dorus na daingneachd na aghaidh, agus cha 
leigeadh an righ na choir e, oir bha e ro-dhiombach ris. 

Air am eile, bha e cur seachad. na h-oidhche ann am baile beag, agus 
chuir a naimhdean na theine an tigh 's na ghabh e fasgadh. Nuair a 
bha e ann an eilean Himla, thug duine borb oidheirp air pic a ruidli 
troimh chridhe, ach chuir Finduchan (aon da chuideachd), gu sgiobalt' 
e fein eatorra, agus f liuair e na bhroilleach, a bhuile a bh'airson a mhaigh- 
istir, ach rinn am freasdal dion dha, oir bha cota tiugh leathrach air, agus 
mar sin bha 'bheatha air a caomhnadh, cho mhath ri beatha a mhaighistir. 

Am freasdal a dhion Colum Cille san am so dh' f huirich e mu'ii cuairt 
dha, gus an d'thug e, le theagasg, le ghliocas, le chaoimhneas, agus le 
naomhachd a bheatha, buaidh air a naimhdean uile, agus mar so, choisinn 
e cliu agus urrani o gach inblie, ach gu sonraichte, choisinn e deagh ghean 
nan daoine allmharach, fiadhaich agus aineolach, a thainig e shoillseachadh 
le soisgeul na slainte, agus mar so, le beannachd Dhia, thainig e mun 
cuairt, nach robh an t-eilean beag so na eilean nan Druidhneach nis fhaide, 
ach aim an cainnt Wordsworth : 

Isle of Columba's cell, 

AVhere Christian piety's soul cheering spark 
(Kindled from heaven between the light and dark 
Of time), shone like the morning star. 

* Dr Smith's Gaelic Antiquities, p. 84, 


No. IX. JULY 1876. 



By J. STUART BLACKIB, Professor of Greek in the Unicersity of Edinburgh. 

Ouu ivadt-rs are mostly aware that a German translation of Eingal, in tlio 
measure of the original, was published by l)r Ebrard in the year 1868, 
with an appendix on the general question, of the authenticity of the 
Ossianic poems. Being, from my professional studies as a philologcr, well 
aware of the great amount of learning and talent put forth by the Germans 
on all questions relating to popular poetry; and knowing also that since 
AVolf's time the great majority of them had leant rather to the sceptical 
side, I was anxious to see what they had made of Macpherson. To my 
surprise I found that the writer concluded a learned critical discourse by 
pronouncing in favour of the authenticity; and thinking that many Celts, 
at home and abroad, who might not understand German, would be d.e- 
lighted to read the lucubrations of the learned foreigner on a subject so 
interesting to them, I superintended the translation of the discourse by 
an accomplished young lady of my acquaintance, and had the translation 
inserted in the Gaidhcal for September 1875. Scarcely had this trans- 
lation appeared than J. E. Campbell of Islay, to Avhom Gaelic popular 
literature owes more than to any other living man, came forward in the 
columns of the Edinburgh newspapers, as a decided advocate of extreme 
scepticism on the question, and reviving in the most unqualified terms the 
old thesis of Malcolm Laing, that, properly speaking, there was no Gaelic 
original of Ossian : that Eing.vl and Temora were English compositions, 
which Maepherson himself, or some one tor him translated into Gaelic. 
This assertion, from such a stout native born Highlander, startled every- 
body, and made an impression anything but agreeable on the learned 
gentleman's most ardent Celtic friends and admirers. Among these it 
was not strange that Dr Clerk of Kilmallie should sharply resent tho 
charge of being the translator of a translation; and he accordingly appeaivd 
in the columns of the &<>(.<, /nut with comparative passages from tin: Cradle, 
and the English Ossian from which, as he argued, it plainly app- 
that the English was a feeble and often erroneous version of tho Gaelic, 
original. Xot having at that time myself made any serious study of the 
original, I did not feel in a condition to make any public remarks on the. 
subject; but I hud some concspoiKluncc at tho timu with Principal 



Sliairp of St Andrews, who was brought up in the midst of orthodox 
"believers in Ossian ; and I remember well his words in a letter to me were 
that Mr Campbell had often made such assertions, but he bad never 
proved them : and that this was a question which lay within the known 
province of a scientific philology to determine. I laid up this word in my 
heart, and resolved, while regularly going through the original, to make 
such notes as would furnish materials for a really scientific handling of 
this question. Accordingly during the last winter I employed every idle 
hour in carefully comparing the original Gaelic with Macpherson's Eng- 
lish, and the new version by Dr Clerk, and the result of these studies I 
take the present opportunity of laying before that portion of the reading 
public, who, being familiar with both languages are entitled to form a 
judgment on questions of verbal transference. 

It is manifest that in any question of this kind the proof may come 
from two sides, in this case either from the character of the Gaelic or the 
character of the English ; either the English version is marked by such 
peculiarities as distinctly indicate its character as a translation from the 
Gaelic ; or the Gaelic is marked by peculiarities which distinctly show 
that no person who knew Gaelic, translating from English, could possibly 
have used a style marked by such expressions ; and on this double basis 
we should say that the Gaelic is certainly the original. But if, on the adverse 
theory, the Gaelic can be shown to contain peculiarities that distinctly 
indicate the influence of an English original ; or if the English contains 
peculiarities of which the supposition of a Gaelic original gives no ex- 
planation in this case AVO should say that the English is the original. 
Now what I intend to attempt in the present paper is simply to attack 
the question from the English side ; that is to say, from a detailed ex- 
amination of phrases and expressions in the English, I shall make the 
induction that no man could have written such English unless he had had 
the Gaelic before him. To handle the argument from the Gaelic side I 
refrain simply because my knowledge of the Gaelic language is not suffi- 
cient to enable me to attempt such a task ; but as I can now read Gaelic 
books with ease, and have besides had a life-long exercise in the field of 
poetical translation, I feel pretty confident that I can state the English 
side of the case with clearness and cogency.* 

In classifying my observations I found that the philological tests 
which could be applied to the two versions under trial were, in number, 

* It may be as well distinctly to state that the argument in this paper arose altogether 
oitt of my personal position as a philologer, and from a continuous series of original 
observations made by me while reading through the Gaelic. It is only, however, a 
strengthening of the argument when we find that the same line of proof has been used by 
other writers, amongst whom, of course, must be mentioned with special honour Mackenzie 
in the Highland Society's report, Dr Graham of Aberfoyle, Mr Peter Macnaughton of 
Tillipourie (Edinburgh, 1861), and Dr Clerk of Kilmallie, in the notes to his great edition. 
Indeed, it would be difficult to name a single writer on the subject (except Mr Campbell) 
who, if he had honestly studied the original, was not prepared in some form to state his 
decided impression that from internal evidence he was convinced the Gaelic was the 
original. My advantage in the matter if I have any lies not in my superior Gaelic 
scholarship, or more warm appreciation of the beauties of the original, but simply in my 
professional habits as a philologer, and my having treated the question more systematically 
a* a, matter of business, 


Test First When of two versions presented for examination, the 
one contains awkward, forced, and unidiumatic expressions which are 
explained directly by the influence of the other, in this case the version 
containing these peculiarities is the translation. Applied to ^Facpherson's 
Ossian this means, if the English in any case is not pure, easy, natural 
English, but English arising from the echo of a Gaelic original in tlio 
author's ear, then on strictly philological principles we are entitled to say 
that the Gaelic is the original. 

The best practical illustration of the evidence arising from this test is 
found in the Hebraisms of our English Bible. No doubt these Hebra- 
isms are used sparingly and with excellent judgment, and foreign phrases 
and ways of thinking may always be adopted and adapted so as to become 
graces; but in the general case they arise from awkwardness or carelessness 
on the part of the translator; and whether gracefully or ungracefully 
used they equally indicate the want of that perfect homogeneousness in 
every jot and tittle of style which marks a good original composition. It 
must be observed further that, although it is possible for a translator of 
great genius, and dextercms accomplishments to make his imitative work 
so perfect that not the most microscopic criticism shall be able to put the 
finger on a passage and say f/iis its- tniml tried irork ; yet so rare is the 
talent of good translation, and so difficult is it to avoid the constant in- 
fluence exercised by an external model on the ear, that ninety-nine trans- 
lations out of a hundred in the currency of the book world will be found to 
bear on their face only tAvo obvious marks of the process of their manufac- 
ture. Macpherson's English has* received its fair share both of laudation 
and condemnation from adverse parties ; but whatever be its quality, one 
thing has become quite plain to me from long continued minute inspection, 
that the Gaelic peeps through it everywhere like the under-writing in a 
Palimpsest. Let us now produce examples : 

(1) Cath-LoduhiT. II., 177 

S' iomadh og bu truime ciabh, I Many a youth of heavy locks 

Ghabh talla JRaomhair nan ciar long. Came to Raomar's echoing hall. 


Now what I say, in. application of the above test, is that the phrase 
"heavy locks" is not English, i.e., not easy, natural, obvious, idiomatic 
English. No doubt an original English poet might talk of a " weighty 
wealth of ringlets," or he might paraphrase the Gaelic here somehow thus 

A rich weight of curls hung down, 
Redundant from his head. 

But no Englishman writing English, whether poetry or prose, would 
talk of " heavy locks," cxc:pt from the contagion of the Gaelic irom in an 
original poem which he Avas translating. 

(2) Do. III., 21- 

Tog samhla nan laoch nach robh lag, I The image raiso of heroes brave, 
Air chiar am a cliaidh f;ula null. On dusky time now far away. 


This is perfectly good English ; but what does Maepherson say : 
"Kear the forms of old on their own dark brown years." Now it is quitu 
plain that no Englishman composing original English could talk of "dark. 


brown years." There may be dark brown earth, and there may be dark 
brown hair, and there may be a dark brown coat, but " dark brown years " 
were never heard of in the English tongue, from Chaucer to Tennyson. In 
the Gaelic dictionaries, however, we read that ciar means dark brown ; 
but in pure English dun or dusky are the natural words here, and one 
might translate the passage freely thus 

Now through the dark of centuries far away 
Bring back the forms of heroes to the day ! 

(3) Carraig Thura, 178 

Am aonar tha mise a Shilric, Alone am I, O Shilric, 

Am aonar iosal an tigh geamhraidh. | Alone in the winter-house. 


This is like the German compound winter-garten which we have 
adopted, and which, to our English ear at once betrays its trans-Khenane 
origin. Had the translator been writing original English he would 
certainly have said wintry house, or the home of winter, or somewhat in 
this style 

Alone I lie, O Silric far from thce, 

Alone and low where winter dwells with me ! 

(4) Carthonn, 245 

Dubh chlogaid ag eirigh mil gach ceann. | Let the dark helmet rise on each head ! 


This is not English. Crown each head or top each head would be the 
thing. The word rise here is manifestly a literal translation of the Gaelic 

(5) Ternora I., 485 

Shiubhail e'n'a osaig fein. | He passed away on his blast. 


. . . his oivn blast. 

The use of the possessive pronoun in this case is common in Ossian, 
but is a pure Gaelic idiom. K"o man writing original English could ever 
stumble on such a peculiarity ; he would say on the blast. 

(6) Tcmora II., 260 

Mor, fo fhocal ard an rigb, 

Gu fhine fein a g,hluais gach treun. 

Which Macpherson renders' " Tall they removed beneath the words of 
the king." This is a very obvious -piece of literal and vile English. Dr 
Clerk saw this, and though his version is in general much more literal 
than Macpherson' s he had too much taste to be altogether literal here ; 
so he writes : 

" At the high bidding of the chiefs, 
Returned each leader to his clan." 

The use of fo in this passage is an instance of a large class of phrases 
with the same preposition very common in Gaelic, but which can seldom 
"be translated literally into English, 


(7) Do. III., 241 

Aig a sthmthaibh chaidh briseadh fo airm. | His armour is broken beside hit stream. 

Mis shield is pierced by Ida stream. 

. . Macpherson. 

This is nonsense; Imt in both versions -\ve liave the same un-English use 
of the possessive pronoun, as in the previous instance. 

(8) In Temora III., 478, there is a beautiful passage full of sunny 
joy (would there were more such in these sombre Epics), in which < >sxiaii 
describes his gladness while listening to the strains of the liar. Is. In this 
passage the line occurs 

A duille a taomadh m' a ohoann. 
Meaning substantially 

The tree spreads its top leafage to the sun. 
Or to make a couplet of it 

And spreads its green tips waving high 

To catch the sun's bright virtue trom the sky ! 

But what has Macpherson here ? 

It pours its green leaves to the sun. 

Now this pours is again a literal translation from the Gaelic, 
sufficiently indicating how it found its way into the midst of the Queen's 

(9) Do. IV., 232 

Tha stii 'g a filleadh fein n'an cliabh. | Strife w folded in their thoughts. 

This also is Gaelicising English. To make it good English we should 
require to expand it somewhat thus 

And in his breast the lust of strife 
Lies folded like a snake. 

(10) Do. IV., 267 

Muasg sitheachad anam a stri. [ As his soul calmed down in wrath. 

Says Clerk, perfectly good English from which no man could conjecture a 
Gaelic original; but Macpherson betrays the translator 
Amid his settling soul ! 

This is the English of a raw school boy. That Macpherson who had 
some poetical genius, should have written thus, is only to be explain! d 
by the fact that he was writing under the disturbing influence of a Gaelic 

(11) Do. VI., 287. 

ag aomadh fo airmibh gu leir. | In full armour he went onward. 


This again is English, but the word aomadh is not brought out with 
sufficient force. Macpherson says, "he hangs forward with all his anus," 
which is more like the meaning of the verb aomadh, but it is not English 
and plainly betrays the translator. In a couplet we might try it thus 

And with his armour's weighty mail 
He hangs upon their flying trail, 


(12) Do. VI., 313 

Rv' shiubhal nam bliadhna dubh chiar, 
Bi'dh gorm shruth ag iadhadh m'an cliu. 

This refers to a "blue stream winding round the base of a green mound 
or barrow which was raised to memorialize a fallen hero. AVc might para- 
phrase it thus- 
And through the dimness of the travelling years 
The blue stream winds around the oblivious mound 
That should have memorized their nobleness. 

But Macpherson in the literal servility of his version becomes obscure 
and awkward. 

The heath through dark brown years is theirs, 
Some blue stream winds to their fame. 

(13) Do. VII., 369- 

Taom iad air Eirinn nan buadh, 
Gus an siolaidh a chruaidh fo dhan. 

These lines contain an advice to the bard to bury the harsh memory 
of recent strife in the sweetness of song. 

Pour forth the praise of Erin loud and strong 
Till the sword sleep beneath the soothing song. 

But what says Macpherson ? 

Pour the tale of other times on wide-skirted Erin as it'scttles round !!! 
A literal translation of siolaidh; what no man would have Avritten writing 
with the unconstrained spontaneity of original English composition. 

(H) Do. VIII., 528 

Cuirear thairis an oidhche am fonn. 

Spread the board and speed the night 
On wings of song with gentle flight. 

Maepherson says 

Send the night away in song. 

Here again it is quite evident that this awkward expression, not Eng- 
lish certainly Send the night away, is a literal version of the Gaelic. 

(15) Cath-Loduinn II., 121- 

Culghorm air marcaich nan tonn, 
Thar gleannaibh crom an t' saile. 

The "winding glens" of the brine is not an English idea. Macpher- 
son felt this, and turned it into " watery vales " ; but this also betrays its 
original. An English writer would have talked of troughs or furrows. 

(16) Lastly, to this head I would refer Graham's observation (Essay, 
p. 316) that Macpherson seems particularly fond of compounding his 
epithets with the word half. I have no doubt he caught this trick from 
the Gaelic, and exaggerated it, as any one may see from the number of 
words so compounded in the Ga3lic dictionary. 

Test Second. In all works operated upon by translators, difficulties 
occur, whether arising from obscurity or ambiguity in the original expres- 
sion, from obsolete words, from errors of transcription, or other causes. 


Dealing with these difficulties is of no easy matter, and his manner 
of dealing with them not seldom betrays the translator. If lie cither skips 
them, or bungles them, or iu any way stumbles, he is at once recognised; 
for it is always to be presumed that the original author wrote sense rather 
than nonsense; and as to skipping, while it is a must obvious device to 
a translator wishing to present a clear unencumbered version, there can 
be no reason, on the other side, supposing the clear version to be tin- 
original, Avhy a difficulty should have been foisted into it. The difficulty 
can shew no cause for its existence supposing it to be in a version from 
an easy original. 

Under this head we have just to remark generally, that comparing tho 
English with the Gaelic, we find it is the manner of Macpherson habitu- 
ally and systematically to skip. His stylo is in every respect original ; 
but it is the originality of mannerism, not of true genius. It is a succession 
of little staccato strides repeated to satiety. It is marked by no variety 
in the rhythm, no richness in the periods, no volume of euphonious How. 
Hence a difficulty in saying in any particular instance whether the author 
has skipped from wishing to shirk a difficulty, or from a general habit of 
skipping. Nevertheless when words or passages occur which present 
a difficulty even to good Galicians now, AVC are fairly entitled to conclude 
that the skipping or the bungling arose from the, weakness or ignorance of 
the translator. 

In reference to Maepherson's practice of skipping, after carefully 
going through tin; original, I fell upon a little piece ol' external evidence 
worth inserting here. In Graham's Essay (p. I'S")) we liud a letter which 
hi; had r.vehvd from the liev. Mr Irvine of Little Dmikeld, an excellent 
(iaelic scholar in his day,* in which the writer says, from personal know- 
ledge, that " it was the general practice of Captain Morrison and Macphor- 
son, when any passage occurred which they did not understand, either to 
pass it over entirely or to gloss it over with any expressions that might 
appear to coalesce easily with the context." Examples : 

(1) " Stuaidh faoin" Cath-Loduinn IT. 186. 

This word ft unit, very common in Ossian, is like one of the obsolete 
words in Homer, of which the Alexandrians knew as little 
before Christ as we do now. Of course I mean in the sense ( )ssian uses it , 
otherwise the word is not at all strange to modern (iaelic. Such l.eing 
the case, who can doubt that the version "restlft4s"of Clerk In-trays 
the translator { And as to Macpherson he gets oil safely with the " I 1 . -am 
of the rolling ocean." 

(-2) Do. III., US- 

Am foill c' uime gliluaiseadh fear treun ? | "WLy should a brave man walk in guile. 


It is not harmless through war. 


Xonsense ! 

* This is the "eutleman who gave to Mr Lockhart those materials for his article on Rob 

Donn oems iifho ^<> %** .^ X ^' P" 3 f G ' 7^^^" ^ * 
th Celtic Chair now bciug instituted m tho Universit rh 


(3) Carraig-thura, 324 

S' a shealladh mu'n chuairt gun clitb. 

The word ditli generally means pith, as in the chorus of a well-known 
song Duine gun cl'dlt (a pithless follow) ; but in the present context it 
does not fall easily into good English, as the versions of the translators 
will shew 

While he surveys the walls in vain. Macyreyor. 
His gaze around is aimless. Clerk. 

Macpherson in this case followed his safe method of skipping. A 
similar difficulty occurs in the achreia idon of Homer, Iliad II. I think 
we might do full justice to the original hero, if -we said 

Brooding in his wrath he sate 
And blankly looked around. 

(4) In verse 396 of the same poem 

Tha misa gun chli 's gun ohliu. 
Macpherson skips the same word again, and instead of 

Here I stand amid my clan 
Spoiled of my fame a thewless man. 

Or something to th'at effect, he gives 

My fame has ceased to arise. 

Which is not English, and can be ascribed only to the echo of Gaelic 
verses in his ears, where the verb Eirir/h frequently occurs. 

(5) Of gross mistranslation there is a curious instance in Macpherson' s 
version of the passage where the two horses of Cuchullin are described 
Fingal I. 363. On this it may be sufficient to refer the reader to Dr 
Clerk's note, and to Macnaughton's lecture on the authenticity of Ossian, 
p. 2. 

(6) In Fingal I. 426, Macpherson, in the description of a battle says 
7-" spears fall like circles of I'ujld which gild the face of night." This is 
nonsense on the face of it ; spears cannot fall like circles. There is no 
such thing in the original. The translator, as the reader may find, has 
been led into this absurd expression by dragging into his version a line 
which properly belongs to the next paragraph. 


Og Roiime uach lorn cruaidh) | Fair Ityno with the pointed steel. 


Lorn is a common Gaelic word signifying ''bare," but what it means 
here is difficult to say. Clerk says it means "steel well-fleshed," i.e., often 
sheathed in the body of an enemy, and this seems the most probable 
explanation. But it was not, as we have seen, Macpherson's fashion to con- 
fess his ignorance, or to boggle at a difficulty. He might skip altogether 
or gloss the word over with a common-place. In this case he has chosen 
the latter alternative. 

(8) In Temora VII., 9-10 

Le so eididh taibhsean o shean 

An dluth-ghleus am measg na gaoithe, 


The word ill utli-yhhus presents a difficulty on which Dr Graham (p. 300) 
has a note, and gives as the correct version, "with these clouds the ghosts 
of old invest their close-gathered forms amid the -winds." Clerk has, 
" with these the spirits of old enrobe their close array upon the wind." 
Both these versions smell of translation, but they are at least intelligible. 
"What is meant is simply what the fine ladies do when they gather round 
their flaunting skirts, being overtaken by a blast. The ghosts wrap them- 
selves round with clouds for fear of being blown away into space. 
Macpherson has, ""With this the spirits of old clothe their sudden gestures 
on the wind." How can a ghost (or a man) clothe a gesture ? Macpher- 
son in this case seems to have confounded yleu* and ijluais. Anyhow the 
Gaelic has manifestly led Inn; into writing absurd English. 
(9) In Temora VII., 347, we read 

Glilaodh e ris an righ a 'gbaoth, 
Measg ceo na mara glais, 
Db' cinch Innisfaill gu gorm. 

The king now invokes the wind; 
Amid the mist of grey ocean, 
Innisfail arose blue. GraJtam- 

Now the king invoked the wind, 

Amid tbe mist of the grey sea, 

Kose Innisfail in its greenness. Clerk. 

Here, I think, Graham is right in the interpunction ; there should be 
a semicolon after " wind." But both Clerk and Graham agree in con- 
demning Macpherson's confusion of the preposition mcd^j with the verb 

iiti'itxy to mix. 

Now he dares to call the winds, 
And to mix with the winds of ocean. 

It is difficult to say whether this blunder arose from ignorance or care- 
lessness ; anyhow the translator has bungled. 

(lo be Continued.) 


THE fate of the Chevalier and his devoted Highlanders forms one of the 
most romantic and darkest themes in the history of Scotland, so rich in 
historical narrative, song, and tradition 

Still freshly streaming 

When pride and pomp have passed away, 

To mossy tomb and turret grey, 

Like friendship clinging. 

Iii the contemplation of their misfortunes their faults and failings are 
forgotten, and now that the unfortunate Chevalier's name and memory 
have become "such stull' as dreams are made of," every heart tliroks in 
sympathy with the pathetic lyric "Oh ! waes me for Prince < 'hailie." 


In the present day when it is not accounted disloyal to speak kindly 
of the Prince or of those who espoused his cause one cannot help in- 
dulging in admiration of the courage and cheerfulness with which he bore 
trials, dangers, and "hairbreadth 'scapes by flood and field," nor wonder 
at the devotedness of the poorer Highlanders ; their affection to his person ; 
the care with which they watched over him in liis wanderings; and above 
all, the incorruptible fidelity which scorned to betray him, though tempted 
by what, in their poverty, must have seemed inconceivable wealth. 

The history of the rising, and particularly of what followed after 
Culloden, relating to Prince Charlie, although generally minute, gives but 
little idea of the wonderful dangers he incurred, and the escapes he made. 
One should, in order to form a moderately correct idea of his hardships, 
have listened to those who had been out with him, as they, in the late 
evening of their days, talked of the past and of the " lad they looed sae 
dearly," or heard their descendants, who were proud of their forbears, 
having been out in the '45, when 

The story was told as a legend old, 

And by withered dame and sire, 
When they sat secure from tke winters cold, 

All aiound the evening fire. 

His capabilities of enduring cold, hunger, and fatigue proves that his 
constitution was of a very high order, and not what might have been 
expected from the descendant of a hundred kings brought up in the . 
enervating atmosphere of courts. The magnanimity was surprising with 
which he bore up under his adverse lot, and the very trying privations to 
which he was subjected. The buoyancy of spirit with which he en-^ 
countered the toils that hemmed him round, seemed to gather 1'ivsh energy 
from each recurring escape while wandering about a hunted fugitive. 

His appearance when concealed in the cave of Achnacarry as described 
by Dr Cameron, who was for a time a companion of his wanderings, is not ' 
suggestive of much comfort, biit rather of contentedly making the most of 
circumstances. "He was then," says he, "barefooted, he had an old black 
kilt and coat on, a plaid, philabeg, and waistcoat, a dirty shirt, and a longi 
red beard, a gun in his hand, a pistol and dirk by his side. Ho was very 
cheerful and in good health, and in my opinion fatter than when lie was 
at Inverness." His courage and patience during his wandering drew 
forth even the admiration of his enemies, while his friends regretted that 
one capable of so much was so wanting in decision of character when it 
was urgently required by his own affairs, and the fortunes and lives of 
those who had perilled all for his sake. His friends, rich and poor, "for' 
a' that had come and gane" were staunch in his favour to the very death, 
while his enemies, hounded on by a scared and vindictive Government, and 
earnestly anxious to enrich themselves by obtaining the reward oil'ered for I 
his capture left no means untried to secure his person. 

Among -the many who signalized themselves in these attempts was one 
Ferguson, who, in command of a small squadron, cruised round the coast 
in search of the Prince and his fugitive friends, but in reality sparing 
none on whom it was possible or not dangerous to vent those feelings of 
oppression and worse, which the cruel Cumberland had made a fashion as 


regards Highlanders and the Highlands, and a sure recommendation to the 

in 4 ice of Government. 

Soon after Culloden, Ferguson appeared off the coast and dropped 
anchor in Loch Cnnnard. A party landed there and proceeded up the 
Strath as far as the residence of Mackenzie of Langwell, who was married 
to a near relation of Earl George of Cromarty. Mackenzie got out of the 
way, hut the lady was ohliged to attend some of her children who were 
confined by small-pox. The house was ransacked, a trunk containing 
valuable papers, and among these a wadset of Langwell and Inchvennie 
from the Earl of Cromarty, was burnt before her eyes, and about fifty 
head of black cattle were mangled by their swords and driven away to 
their ships. 

Similar depredations were committed in the neighbourhood, without 
discrimination of friends or enemies. So familiarized were the west 
Higlilanders and Islanders with Captain Ferguson, his cutter and crew, 
that they were in the habit of jeering him and them by calling after 
them " Jha sinn eolach air a h-uile car a tha na t'eaman" (We are ac- 
quainted with every turn in your tail), a source of great irritation to the 
annoyed commander, who knew well the fugitives were hiding on the 
west coast of Inverness-shire, and consequently resolved to adopt every 
species of decoy to entrap the Prince and his companions. In order to de- 
ceive the inhabitants of this wild and extensive coast, Ferguson pretended to 
give over the search and leave for Ireland. The Highlanders, wondering 
what would be the next move, were not deceived, nor did they relax their 
watchful precautions. The dwellers at Samalaman, the most Avestern 
point of Moidart, had been especially harassed, as it was suspected they 
were in the confidence of Prince Charles. The suspicion was correct, and 
therefore, although, they went about their usual employments they kept 
many an anxious look towards the ocean many a lonely wati-h and walk 
was taken for the protection of the hunted wanderers. 

To those who are not oppressed by anxiety the look-out from this 
headland is of surpassing beauty. Few scenes are equal to that present ed 
in a midnight walk by moonlight along the .sea beach, the glassy sea 
sending from its surface a long stream of dancing and dazzling light, no 
sound to be heard save the small ripple of the idle wavelets or the scream 
of a sea bird watching the fry that swarms along the shores ! In the 
short nights of summer the melancholy song of the throstle has scarcely 
ceased 011 the hillside when the merry carol of the lark commences, and the 
snipe and the plover sound their shrill pipe. Again, how glorious is the, scene, 
which presents itself from the summits of the hills when the great on-an 
is seen Blowing with the last splendour of the setting sun, and the lofty 
hills of the farther isles rear their giant heads amid the purple blaze uu 
the extreme verge of the horizon. 

Kc .thing of all this, for they were sights and scenes of continual re- 
currence, did Mary Macalister feel. Mary was a bold, spirited, handsome 
girl, who, in company with her father and two brothers forming the boats 
crew, knew well all ocean's moods, and often braved the storms so common 
on that coast, and so fatal to many toilers of the deep. 

On the morning of the fifth day after the departure of Captain Fergu- 


son, Mary arose as usual to prepare the food for the family, and in goin, 
outside for a basket of peat fuel was surprised to observe a strange lookin; 
little vessel at anchor in a dark creak in the opposite island of Shon 
which occupies paitly the mouth of Loch. Moidart. Time was when , 
circumstance, so apparently trivial, would have created no wonder 110 
left in the mind any cause for suspicion ; but now Mary carefully scannec 
the low long dark hull of the craft, and her tanned and patched sails 
which ill agreed with the trimness about her, and which at once spok 
against her being a fishing craft or smuggler. Gullean an t-scann Mkad 
aidh (cub of the old fox) sighed the girl as she returned to the house t< 
communicate the circumstance to the rest of the family, eacli of whom 01 
reconnoitring the vessel confirmed her opinion. " Well then," sale 
Mary, " let us advise the neighbours to betake themselves to their daih 
employment without seeming to suspect the new comer, and above all le 
us warn the deer of the mountain that the bloodhouds have appeared." 

As the Moidart men were about to go to sea they were visited by 
couple of miserable looking men from the suspected craft one of then 
who spoke in Irish made them understand that they had lately left the 
coast of France laden with tobacco and spirits, some of which they wouk' 
gladly exchange for dried fish and other provisions of which they were mud 
in want, having been pursued for the last three days by an armed cutter 
from which they had escaped with difficulty, and from which they in 
tended to conceal themselves for some days longer in their present secludei' 
anchorage. The fishermen, pretending to commiserate their condition 
replied that they had no provision to spare, and left only more conj 
vinced that Mary's suspicions were well founded. Matters remained in thif 
state for a few days, the craft lying quietly at anchor, and her six hands! 
being, it was said, the full complement of her crew, sneaking about, in al 
directions, in pairs, on pretence of searching for provision. At last, aftei 
an unusually fine day the sun sank suddenly behind a mountain mass o1 
clouds which for some time before had been collecting into dense columns 
Avhose tall and fantastic shapes threw an obscurity far over the western 

The coming storm was so apparent that the fishermen of Samalamar 
secured their boats upon the beach just as some heavy drops, bursting 
Iroin the region of the storm clouds showed that the elemental war hat 

The Atlantic rolled its enormous billows upon the coast, dashing their 
with inconceivable fury upon the headlands, an:l scouring the sands and 
creeks which, from the number of shoals and sunken rocks in them ex 
hibited the magnificent spectacle of breakers Avhite with foam extending 
for miles. The blast howled among the grim and desolate rocks. Stil] 
greater masses of black clouds advanced from the west, pouring fortl: 
torrents of rain and hail. A sudden flash illuminated the gloom, and was 
followed by the crash and roar of thunder which gradually became faintel 
until the dash of the waves upon the shore prevailed over it. 

Far as the eye could reach the ocean bailed and heaved one wide 
extended field of foam, the spray from the summits of the waves sweeping 
along its surface like drifting snow, 


Seaward no sign of life was to be seen save when a gull labouring hard 
o boar itself against the breeze, hovered overhead or shot across the gloom 
i ike a meteor. Long ranges of giant waves rushed in succession to the 
ifhoro, chasing each other like monsters at play. The thunder of their 
f hork echoed among the crevices and caves, the spray mounted along the 
!ace uf the cliffs in columns, the rocks shook as if in terror, and the baffled 
rave returned to meet its advancing successor. 

By-and-bye there came a pause like the sudden closing of a blast 
rurnace, or as if the storm had re-tin d within itself ; but now and then, in tit- 
pil bursts, proclaiming that its power was but partially smothered. During 
;he conflict of the elements Mary Macalister seemed to suffer the most 
tcute agonies of mind ; and 110 sooner did it abate than, wrapping herself 
n her plaid, she sallied out and proceeded towards the sea shore. There, 
straining her eyes over the dark and fearful deep, she thought she saw, 
Dy a broad flash of lightning, a small speck on the wild waters, pitching 
is if in dark uncertainty, about the mouth of Loch Moidart. With the 
IspiM-d of frenzy away flew the maiden to the nearest cottage, and grasping 
U burning peat and a lapful of dried brushwood, she, with equal speed, 
traced her steps to the shore. In an instant the beacon threw its crack- 
ing flame far over the Loch, and in an instant more the small black craft 
In Shona had cut from her moorings and stood out to the entrance of the 
.bay. Now rose the struggle in Mary's mind. There stood the maid of 
iMoidart in the shade of the lurid beacon, listening to the fitful blast, like 
ffite angel of pity. Something was passing on in the troubled bosom of that 
nark loch over which she often looked, that drew forth all the energies of 
mtr soul ; but what that something was, was as hidden to her as futurity. 
Hie was startled from this state of intense feeling by a momentary flash on 
I the water, instantaneously followed by a crash among the rocks by her 
ride, and then came booming on her ear a sound as if the island of Shona 
pad burst from its centre. A Dhia nan dtil bi maile ris (God of the 
ements be with him) ejaculated Mary as she bent her trembling knees 
Hi tho wet sand, and then, like a spring from death to life, a boat rushed 
shore, grounding the shingle at her feet. A band of armed men imrae- 
Hiately sprung on land, one of whom, gently clasping the girl, pressed her 
to his heart. " Failte 'Phrions " faltered Mary, giving a momentary scope 
Ho the woman in her bosom, but instantly recollecting herself, she 
whispered, " Guide him some of you to the hut of Marsaly Buie in the 
>pse of Cul-a-chnaud, and I shall meet you there when the aun of the 
jhorning shall -show me the fate of the pursuer." By this time the intre- 
pid girl was joined by the villagers who extinguished all traces of the late 
jlrt', and carried the stranger's boat where none but a friend might find it. 
he storm had again broken from its restless slumber, and the rain and 
jickly sun of the following day showed the pretended smuggler scattered 
IB. the beach. She appeared to have been well armed, and the easily re- 
jjognised body of Captain Ferguson's first mate was one of the twelve -who 
ere washed ashore, 





THBIIE are various reasons why the Highlands and Highlanders should 
have peculiar claims on the attention of the public. The High- 
landers, from the earliest ages, have been a particularly distinguished 
race. Their remote origin as Celts who emigrated from the far cast, 
and got a holding in this kingdom, has furnished materials for many 
a dissertation, and casual notice from the pen of the historians. No small 
interest is attached to the affiliation of languages, as well as to the 
superstitions and habits, the music and poetry, the condition and cha- 
racter, of this primitive race. It is not intended in this brief article, 
to furnish a minute narrative of their past and present history, but 
merely to give a general glance at some of the trials and hardships, 
which they had all along to endure. It is difficult to trace the 
gradual substitution of modern society in our mountains and glens, and 
to compare it with the real circumstances in which the natives Avere 
placed in past ages. Many important revolutions have taken place in the 
history of their social and domestic affairs. These have been materially 
effected by feudalism, when the feudal chief took the place of the pater- 
familias ; and when the liberty of the vassal was entirely in his hands. 
Eventually, however, civil wars, and the increasing power of the crown, 
gradually Aveakened the assumed authority of the feudal superior. Feudal- 
ism, in consequence, lost by degrees its autocratic influence over the 
people, until ultimately it died away under the more benign supremacy of 
a paternal monarchical government. Need it be told how boisterous and 
bloody were the periods of feudalism, when might was right, and when 
the resistless law-giver over the length and breadth of the Highlands, 
was the sharp edge of the Glaidh Mor. The Highlanders were", no 
doubt, rendered obedient and submissive to their feudal lords, by the 
rivalry which existed among the vassals and adherents of the different 
chiefs. Each individual clan stood fast and faithful to its federal head, 
and however severe the discipline, however distressing the hardships to 
which the vassals might be subjected, there was no dereliction on their 
part of the duty expected ; and there was no failing or flinching in their 
conduct even in the face of certain disasters and death to themselves. 
Perhaps no other people would have calmly submitted to such painful 
endurances, as they had done, or no other people would have proved so 
faithful and true, These qualities, or characteristics may have arisen from 
their having been a distinct race, whose virtues were many, and whose 
vices (if they had any) were intrinsically their own. They were a peculiar 
people, whose ideas and idiosyncrasies were confined to themselves. 
They were a separate tribe, who manifested a natural zeal for brave and 
daring deeds, and who were eminently successful in achieving them. 
But, to their credit be it said, that the same traits of character cleaved to 
them, when, in after ages, their services were demanded and given in 


defence of their sovereign and coxintry. Possessed of remarkable powers 
of endurance, their loyalty and fidelity rendered them mighty and valu- 
able allies in fighting their country's battles, and in defending their 
national liberties and constitution. In this respect, every quarter of the 
world will bear ample testimony, and every siege and battle-field in which 
British soldiers were engaged received their eclat chiefly through the 
instrumentality of this people's dauntless bravery. What would the con- 
sequences have been in the Peninsular War] what in Egypt and India? 
and what in the Crimea had it not been for our Highland regiments I 
Yet after all, the very fates seem to have conspired against this brave ami 
hardy nun;. Years have rolled on years, and centuries over centuries, since 
the Highlanders have, in some shape or other become the victims of 
harassing endurances. They have had frequently to pine under the dire 
afflictions of famine and Avant. Not many years have elapsed since it was 
necessary to appeal to the national sympathy for the means of sustaining 
the lives of thousands in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland ; and the 
appeal was munificently responded to throughout every part of the 
United Kingdom. 

Various causes combined together to bring such unfortunate results 
to pass. The elements of Nature appeared to have been working together 
iu a manner adverse to the temporal interests of this gallant people. 
For example, the inclement seasons of 183G-7, and of 184G-7, reduced them 
to the most abject state of destitution a state which required a series of 
years to enable them to rally once more, and to get hold of something like 
their former position. But the chief cause of this lamentable depression 
had arisen from an unfortunate policy on the part of many of the Highland 
proprietors, in contracting the tenements of land held by the great bulk 
of the population, and in huddling them together in small crofts and 
patches of land, too limited for their support. The natural tendency of 
this policy was, either to chain the hapless families down to abject poverty, 
or to expatriate them, to find more comfortable homes in the distant 
colonies. The population of the Highlands may be classified into three 
distinct sections. These are, the owners of the soil, the extensive sheep 
farmers, and the most numerous of all, the peasantry, or small crofters and 
cottars. Of the latter class, the crofters hold but very limited tenements, 
while the cottars, particularly in the Western Isles, have no land at all. 
How well would it be for the Highlands and Islands if all the landed 
proprietors were to act on the noble principle of his ( I race the Duke of 
Sutherland ! He is using his munificent means, and his mighty energies, 
to undo on his extensive domains the effects of the imprudent policy 
adopted by some of his ancestors, and he will eventually enjoy his reward. 
But not so, alas ! with several others. 

Every patriot, whether clerical ov lay, must feel an absorbing i"f 
in the real well-being of their native land. This arises from no sentimen- 
tal love of country, but is a feeling founded on genuine Christian 
principles. It has been well expressed by an eminent Highland divine, 
when he said" We do love the mountains, and the lakes, and the wood- 
lands of our native land ; and these are associated in our minds by many 
tender and subduing recollections. But, perhaps, the most subduing of 


them all are those which carry our thoughts to other, and to distant 
climes, where so many of the companions of our youth, and of the friends 
of our childhood are now located. We gaze upon the land of our birth, as 
AVC would on the countenance of a loved and dying parent. The features 
remain the same ; but the cold hand of death is passing over them, and 
the spirit which animated them is about to depart. All the bold outlines 
of our country's scenery remain unchanged ; but under a relentless mandate 
the silence of death is fast passing over them. Yes, under a merciless and 
mercenary policy many a once happy vale has already ceased to be the 
abode of living men. And thus it is that our thoughts arc at this 
moment almost as vividly directed to the sunny plains of Australia, and 
to the sombre forests of Canada, as they are to the green glens of Argyle, 
or the lonely Hebridean Isles ! " Xo sight can be more sad to the eyes 
of the Highland philanthropist than to traverse those desolated glens and 
to behold, here and there, the lamclis of unce social and happy dwellings, 
all dilapidated and clad with nettles and foxglove melancholy mementos 
of ancient joyful homes ! 

It is worthy of observation that the imprudent policy which has led 
to all this is neither of a temporary nature nor of recent origin. It has 
existed for ages, and has taken a deep, and it is to be feared, a lasting 
root. Hence it is that the procuring of a remedy, if at all within the 
range of possibility, is a matter for grave and anxious deliberation. The 
unfortunate change which has thus been effected in the social condition 
of the Highlands is the radical evil which has operated against the ameli- 
oration or improvement of that condition. The Highlanders have not 
now within themselves the means, or the instrumentalities whereby they 
may expect to be raised, but very partially, in the scale of sacred and 
secular knowledge. Preachers and teachers possessing a thorough acquaint- 
ance with the Gaelic language, the mother tongue of the Highlanders, are 
become " few and far between." This is to be deplored, but not to be 
wondered at, under the system of management so long practised, particu- 
larly under that portion of the system wherein the Gaelic is not only 
neglected, but, frequently, is utterly despised by the better classes of the 
community themselves. Many of our Highland families in the present 
day, Avhose ancestors were as ignorant of the English language as of Hindo- 
stanee or Persian, are actuated by a sort of fashion, or perhaps rather of a 
false pride, by which they are led to suppose that to knoAv, or to speak, 
Gaelic is derogatory to their respectability. Hence the younger branches 
of the household are strictly Avatched, and Avarned under the penalty of a 
smart castigation, against uttering one vocable of the despised tongue ! It 
is not considered genteel to do so, as it contaminates, forsooth, their Eng- 
lish accent, and gives a peculiar Celtic tAvang to the tone of their speech. 
The same ridiculous principle has frequently been acted on by school- 
masters in the Highlands, Avho, instead of giving instruction in that 
language, utterly excluded it from their schools. It Avas quite a common 
thing on entering one ot these schools to hear a boy address the master, 
and cry out, " Hector Beaton is speaking Gaelic here." Poor Hector is 
dragged up to the teacher's desk, and pleading guilty, receives at once a 
dozen of sharp " pandics " for his crime ! 

, the result of aljl this is, that Avithout doubt the Gaelic language 


is on the decline in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. "\Vhether 
this fact lie a matter of regret or otherwise, is not the subject presently 
under consideration. Yet, it is a fact, that the Gaelic, like those who 
speak it, has become, compressed into bounds far less extensive than in 
f( inner ages. But, on the other hand, it has not declined to an extent 
that supersedes the necessity not only of its being preached, but likewise 
the necessity of giving preaching in that language a predominant place in 
our Highland parishes. The Gaelic is still dear to the majority of the 
people in our mountains and glens. It is the language that cheers their 
hearts the language that conveys the linal blessing of dying parents to 
their dutiful offspring the language that raises their souls in devout 
aspirations to the living God ; and the language which alone comes homo 
to their minds with enchanting power ! 

It is true that the Gaelic has given way in the Highlands, and 
that to an extent which renders it a difficult problem to maintain it win-re 
it is as yet required. It has given way among the higher and more 
fashionable classes of society, as already alluded to, while it exists in full 
power among the lower classes ; and in spite of all innovations and changes 
is likely to do so, for at least a century to come. Then the question is, 
are these lower classes, which constitute the great bulk of our Highland 
population, to be left uneducated in that language alone through which 
moral and religious instruction can possibly be conveyed to them? Can 
such be permitted by our churches, as well as by such influential parties 
as have the welfare of a brave and loyal people at heart? Can it be per- 
mitted in a highly privileged nation, and beyond the middle of the nim - 
teen tli century, that a distinct race of people, numbering hundreds of 
thousands, should remain unable to read the Word of God in their own 
language, and should be denied the privilege of listening to a purely 
preached gospel in that language? The remedy is not easily provided, 
as the means for obtaining it have been allowed, in a great measure, to 
pass away. By means of the recent Government School Act, teachers are- 
virtually precluded from imparting a knowledge of the Gaelic in public 
schools. Although not actually forbidden to do it, more than they arc to 
teach Dutch or German, yet they are not paid for it, and no provision is 
made for such teaching. It is, therefore, unreasonable to suppose that 
teachers will devote their time and attention to what is not demanded of 
them, and to what forms no part of their code of instruction. Bc<id<-s, in 
most of our public schools, teachers ore already appointed, and the great 
majority of that useful class of men have no knowledge of Gaelic tliem- 
M'hvs, and cannot, in consequence, impart that knowledge to their pupils. 
Hence it arises that three important classes of our Highland community 
are left in ignorance of a language which, notwithstanding its tendency 
to decay, is still a language which comes home with a mighty power, and 
with a .pleasing charm to the hearts of our Highland population. The 
three classes alluded to are, the preachers, the teachers, and the 
families of our Gaelic parishes. The preachers of the gospel in our High- 
land districts have but little encouragement, and still less the means for 
qualifying themselves for their sacred office, and for expounding to tho 
people in their native tongue the marvellous scheme of redemption, 
only perhaps of a luwgw provincial knowledge of Gaelic, orally 


acquired in whatever district may have been their birthplace, they go 
blundering and stammering through their uncouth addresses, regard 1> 
the idiom, grammar, and beautiful structure of the language, and thereby 
eliciting the smiles of the heedless, as well as the sorrow of the pious and 
devout. The second class to which reference has been made, consists of 
the teachers, most of whom are not Gaelic-speaking men, and such as are, 
may justly be put into the same catalogue with the preachers as parties 
who did not themselves receive regular instruction in the Celtic tongue, 
and who, accordingly, are not sufficiently qualified to teach it to others. 
In regard, however, to these two classes, there are many honourable 
exceptions, as in each may be found men possessed of a profound and 
critical knowledge of this beautiful and ancient tongue. The third class 
consists of the families of our Gaelic parishes. To them their mother 
tongue is precious, and although they may speak it, and that lluently, yet 
they are unable to read it, having never been instructed. The Word of 
God is in consequence, to many parents and children in the Highland-;, a 
sealed book, as they never received an opportunity of perusing it, in the 
language which is to them the most congenial of all, to enlighten their 
minds, and to impress their conscience. The teaching of Gaelic alone is 
not advocated, as such a course would not be either prudent nor profitable 
where the English language is gaining ground ; but the teaching of Gaelic 
and English together, and at the same time, is both reasonable and pro- 
per. Let the one language explain the other, and thus the reciprocal pro- 
gress made in both would eventually confer on tho pupils, of all classes, a 
correct knowledge of both languages. On the other hand, that knowledge 
woidd be no burden, but a benefit. It Avould be no bar in the way of 
improvement, but the very opposite. It would expand the faculties of 
the mind, and verify the old adage, that "two languages are easily carried 

Under existing circumstances, therefore, the most availing, and perhaps 
the only effectual remedy for the deficiencies complained of, particularly 
as to Highland ministers and teachers would be, Avhat is now looming in 
the distance, and yet is not very distant, the endowment of a Celtic Chair 
in one of our universities. Such a provision for Celtic literature is made 
on the Continent, and now at Oxford. In the same way provision is made 
in Cambridge for instruction in the Welsh language, while the same is 
made in Maynooth for the Irish ; and why is good old Scotland with its 
Highlands and Islands in this manner utterly neglected 1 ? We have, 
however, one Celtic philanthropist, one genuine admirer of Celtic lore ! 
Yes, we Highlanders feel proud of having such an earnest devoted cham- 
pion as Professor Blackie ! He is the great defender and fosterer of our 
mountain tongue, and has all but succeeded, by his indefatigable labours, 
in conferring upon it the honour of an academical position in Scotland. 
Although himself of Saxon blood, yet the Celts are dear to him, as a race 
of peculiar origin, and the teeming beauties of their primitive language are 
the joy of his heart. Who knows better than he the Celtic fundamental 
particles on which the classic languages of ancient Greece and liome were 
reared, and who can trace with such enthusiastic precision the close 
kindred relationship that subsists between these languages, as does our 
energetic aud learned friend ? It is to be hoped that the worthy gentle- 


man may be spared to see, fur many years, the increasing elllciency of a 
Celtic professor in tin- University of Edinburgh a professor conducting 
his classes, not .solely in the digging up of dry philological roots, hut like- 
wise in Ilic reading, and spelling, and writing of our Scottish Caelir, 
according to its heautiful grammatical structure, and its authorised 

Such then arc some of the adverse circumstances against which our 
Highlands and Highlanders have to contend. The incessant changes in 
the ownership of property, the disappearance of not a few of our ancient 
Highland lairds, who stood as the patrons and guardians of their people 
and the passing of their estates and farms into the hands of wealthy 
&fauytnach*i who hear more love to their grouse and deer than to human 
llesh and blood -are matters that tell dcpressingly on the well-being, and 
even on the existence of our Highland population. These superiors, 
however good and worthy in themselves, and many of them are so, have 
no natural congeniality with a people widely differing from them in 
manners, and customs, and language. On the- other hand, even some of 
our Highland landlords, owing to perpetual absence from their estates, 
have become so much amalgamated with the aristocracy of the sister 
kingdom that they have almost become one with themselves. It is true 
that some vestiges of our Highland songs and music still exist as remnants, 
or rather as specimens, of what prevailed in our country in the days of 
yore. A learned divine well versed in Gaelic lore, has said " "We have, 
it is true, our days of pageantry and of poetry ; and the inference may bo 
drawn, that the days of Celtic enthusiasm have not passed away; but, 
alas ! our days of poetry are short. Our young chiefs may love to assume 
the patronymics of their ancestors, and a retinue of plaided vassals may 
at times be pleasing to the eye ; but what then ? Those young chiefs, 
though I know that there are honourable exceptions, remind me of tho 
grotesque structures which we sometimes meet Avith, exhibiting an order 
of architecture without, and another within. Externally they are as 
Highland as buckles and belts can make them ; but internally as Saxon 
in all their views, and tastes, and feelings, as if they had never trode a 
heatherbell under foot, or breathed the pure air of our mountains." 

A desire to be a Highlander, at least in outward form is frequently 
entertained by gentlemen from England, who have procured either landed 
properties or shooting ranges in old Scotland. These have no concern for 
the interests of the depressed natives of our Highland hills and dales. 
Generally speaking, they have neither sympathy for them, nor any apathe- 
tic feelings against them, simply because they never inquired into their 
social circumstances, or made themselves acquainted with their history 
and merits. Yet these scions of, nobility desire to be looked upon as 
Highlanders in the Highlands, at least in so far as the external parapher- 
nalia of the Highland costume are concerned. AVith rigid punctiliousness 
they procure every article which "The Garb of old Gaul" can claim, 
according to the dress-lists of Logan, I'.rown, Skene, ami others. Thus 
equipped, they march the streets, and wander over mountains and moors, 
apparently quite delighted with themselves and possessing no ordinary 
degree of self-conceit. Most of these, however, are destitute of the " bono 
and sinew," aiid of the genuine " beau ideal " of real and true son? of thy 

266 THE CELTIC MAG AX 1 2s E. 

mountains. It may be said of them, that they arc, in the words of the 
bard : 

Le casan ciiol, crom, cimga'ch, cam, 
'S le claignibh greannach, falamli, fas ; 
'S le lamhaibh diblidh 'ghiulan lann, 
Is soirbh do'n namh 'sam bi iad 's as. 

Le breacan 's fcile tlia na friiinn, 
Ma's fior iad fuin, ro liiidir, treun ; 
'S leoir cuigeil caillich air an driiim, 
Gu'n ruag ga bras air falbh gu leir ! 

But we have still some noble specimens of Highland cliiefs, such as Mac 
Chaileiit Mhoir, the Duke of Argyle ; the Duke of Sutherland ; Mac 
Mlmraich, Cluny ; Mac Dhomlinuill Ditibh, Lochiel; Sir Kenneth 
Mackenzie of Gairloch; Lovat; Tulloch ; and several others. It is there- 
fore to be hoped that these, and many more, may prove themselves able 
and willing to sympathise with our Highlanders in their various perplexi- 
ties, that they may still cherish a tender regard to their best interests, 
and that they may vise their utmost endeavours once more to raise this 
loyal and patriotic race of mt-n in the scale of social and domestic happi- 


'" ABERNESS." In answer to many enquiries, and to protect posterity 
from the far-fetched and infantile Philological and Topographical deductions 
of a " D. C." or " Thomas" of the future ; and at the same time to save our 
successors, a thousand years hence, from an elaborate proof, founded on this 
word, unearthed from an early number of the Celtic Magazine discovered in 
the Advocate's Library or British Museum of the day, that Inverness was at 
one time a Welsh colony, we beg to inform our readers and posterity that 
the proprietor of the "Aberness Hotel" coined the word from Abcr, the 
mouth, or confluence of a River, and Ness, the name of our noble and silvery 
stream. Aber, he says, is as purely Gaelic as Inver, and means the mouth, 
from the word Abair to speak. Aberness therefore is simply Inverness in 
another garb. 

GAELIC SOCIETY ANNUAL ASSEMBLY. It will be seen by reference to ano- 
ther column that this Annual Gathering of the Clans will be held in the 
Music Hall on the Thursday evening of the Great Inverness Wool Fair the 
13th July. Professor Blackie, the present Chief of the Society, will occupy 
the Chair, supported, as is usual on these occasions, by many of our High- 
land Chiefs and aristocracy. We have no hesitation in promising those at- 
tending a real Celtic treat. 




Liberty ! thou art a phantom wan, 

When hounds usurp what God designed for man. 

Mountains ! mountains ! ye courtiers old of heav'n. 

Reft of your sons ye lonely fathers stand, 
Mourning for evermore the heroes driv'n, 

By stern Oppression from their native land : 
Ye everlasting monuments of blood ! 
I stand on crags where warriors have stood, 
Tell me why ye in sorrow darkling gloom ? 
Tell me why ye in mists your crests entomb ? 
The mountains trembling shake, and whisper then, 
Where are my sons ? Where are my dauntless men ? 

Torrents ! torrents ! ye minstrels of the clouds, 
Unanswered now ye pour death's saddest lays ; 

Wailing for ever, grief your beauty shrouds, 
Deep your lament for other happy days : 

Ye ever-sounding messengers of woe, 

I listen to your solemn music flow ; 

Tell me why ye are tuned to sing despair ? 

Tell me why ye those tearful dirges bear ? 

The torrents paler grow and whisper then, 

Where are my sons ? Where are my plaided men ? 

Valleys ! valleys ! ye verdant shrines of peace, 

Silence unbroken broods your fields among, 
Cold desolation makes your gloom increase, 

No voices break your sleep with joyous song : 
Ye mountain-guarded sepulchres of death, 
T tread with joyless heart your waving heath ; 
Toll me why ye aru lone and smileless now ? 
Tell me why wild flnw'rs o'er your bosoms grow ? 
The rank grass weirdly waves and whispers then, 

Where are my sons : Where ! Where ! my mighty men ? 

Ruins ! ruins ! ye histories of fale, 

Accusers still of bloody-handed foes, 
Emblems of tyi-anny insathue, 

Of Wrong's vile laws, of dark Eviction's woes : 
Ye murder-marked remains of happiness, 
I wander mid your eerie loneliness ; 
Tell me why ye are roofless, wrecked and dead ? 
Tell me why ghostly forms still round ye tread ? 
The moss grown stones in sadness whisper then, 

Gone are my sons ! Gone ! Gone ! the noble men : 






SUNDERLAND, June 1876. 

SIR, In the June number of the Celtic Magazine there was a very inter- 
esting paper by Dr Stratton, the object of which was to prove that the Piets 
were Celts and not Goths, and of the Gaelic branch of the Celts juul not of the 
Cymric or Welsh. Having given some attention to this subject I may be 
allowed to say I am inclined to differ with the writer, and that for the follow- 
ing among other reasons : 

A considerable number of names of places in that part of Scotland which 
the Picts formerly occupied, extending from the Firth of Forth to the Moray 
Firth, along the east side of the island, up to the Grampian water-shed, are 
easily explainable even by modern Welsh, whereas they do not seem to be 
Gaelic at all, at least I have not been able to resolve them into that language. 

I could instance some scores of such names did your limited space permit, 
but, perhaps, a few will suffice. 

First, then, take twenty places in Angus : Craigowl Hill (Welsh, craig 
nchel, high rock) ; Fin try (ffin tre, prosperous village) ; Monikie (mon y ci, 
the dog's point) ; Carmylie (caer mygol, smoking or reeking fort) ; Benvie 
(ben ffe, outer hill) ; Lochlee, the pass in the Grampians through which the 
North Esk flows, (lloch lie, covert place) ; the conspicuous hill of Kinforny 
(cyn fi'or nef, the head of the hollow pass) ; Newtyle, among the Sidlaw Hills 
(new tyle, new croft, toft, or lield) ; Arbirlot (ar ber llud, close, compact, 
short-ridged, arable land) ; the river Dean flowing through the heart of the 
beautiful plain of Strath more (doin, charming) ; Tannadice, a place hilly or 
rather mountainous, but where gold is said to lie beneath, one spot being 
called the golden craig (tanodd isg, under the surface) ; Lundie, where there 
are four small lakes (llyn dy, lake dwelling) ; Gourdie (gwrdd dy, the stout 
or valiant man's house) ; Pittendriech (pid yn drych, lookiug-glass well) ; 
Lethendy (lleithian dy, damp house) ; Estandy (ystaen dy, painted house) ; 
Dronely (tron elwch, circle or court of joy) ; Kinblethmont (cyn blwth inwnt, 
top of the gusty or windy mount) ; Kinnordy (cyn oer dy, cold house topping) ; 
Baldowrie (bal dwyre, eastern hill). 

Next, other twenty in Kincardine: Nigg, a sort of peninsula at the 
mouth of the Dee (neg, straightened) ; Durries or Durris, a parish rising 
from the banks of the Dee to the top of the Grampians (dyres, stairs, terraces) ; 
Cairn Monearn, one of the Grampians (earn mon eirian, shining isolated 
hill) ; Mount Battock, one of the Eastern Grampians (the mountain of the 

. . 


high circle, seminary or college of the thnnderer) ; Fordoun (ffor dwn, the 
dark pass) ; Fettercairn (ffetur earn, wild oat cairn) ; Gannachie, on the 
North Esk, where the river is hcmmod in by tremendous rocks (gan y chwip, 
the mortice or cut of the rapid) ; Balfour (bal il'wrch, forked or bifuercated 
hill) ; Monboddo (mon boddn, agreeable or pleasing hill standing by itself) ; 
Fiddes (ffedus, exposed, open) ; Inchmarlo (ynys marliad, marly island) ; 
Ardo (arddn, very black) ; Balmakewan (bal ma cwyn, the hill of weeping); 
Kerloch Hill (caer lloch, fort of refuge) ; Auchbinies (awch banwes, the ridge 
of the farrow cow) ; Cutty Hillock, where the road from Brcchiu to Djesido 
branches off to Banchory and riuntly (cyd y ceiliog, moorcock junction); 
Dalledies (dal lledu, widening or spreading dale) ; Drumlethie (trum lledw, 
broad ridge) ; and Drumtoughty (trum toedig, covered ridge). 

The pass of Bollitar in Aberdeenshire, which forms the eastern entrance into 
the Grampian Mountains, seems to be the Welsh Bol y tardd, gorge of the 
vent or issue. Bol is bealach in Gaelic, and tardd, toradh, but the latter 
word is used only in the sense of fruit or produce, effect or result*. 

Forbes, on the Don, I am inclined to explain as ffor bas, the shallow 
ford ; Monymnsk as mon y mwsg, mossy point ; Putachie, as pwt awchi, a 
sharp push ; Kiutore as cyn tor, boss head ; Half-forest as hoi It'orest, holm 
park ; Noth as uoeth, naked, bare, exposed ; Cairney as earned, a heap of 
stones ; Monqnhitter as mon chwydd wyr, extensive swelling heath ; Drum- 
blade as trum bleidd, wolfs hill ; Auchterless as awch tir lies, tho limit of 
the good land ; Tyrie, as tyriad, heaping, piling up ; Pitsligo as pyd ys llygod, 
the mouse well, or pyd ys llygad, the well eye ; Aberdour on the Moray 
Firth, as abtr dwr, the water foot. 

The cave of Cowshaven, among the rocks on the coast, to the bottom of 
which it is said nobody has ever penetrated, may be cw ys hafn, tho cavern 
at or near the harbour. 

The ancient Castle of Dundargue, overhanging the boisterous surge, 
may have been originally Dun darguch, frowning castle. 

The hill of Mormond, near Fraserburgh, from which there is a fine pros- 
pect, mor mund, sea hill. 

The river ll-ithcn, flowing through rich haughs, rhath afon, the river of 
the open plain or clearing. 

Crimond, rising almost perpendicularly from the shore, crimp mund, sharp 
ridge hill. 

Ellon, at a turn of the Ythan, elin, angle, elbow. 

Rosehearty Welsh, rhos hwrddiog, rams' meadow, meadow appropriated 
to rams. 

Banchory-Davenick, ban chor y da ftynach, the high court of the two 

Abcrgeldy, abcr gell dwr, the mouth of the dun water. 

The mountain of Corryhabbie, cor y hab, the circle of fortune or good 

Cairngorm, Welsh, earn gwrm, Gaelic earn gorm } the azure rock. 


Where the Cymric and Gaelic forms are nearly identical, there being only 
a dialectic difference, as in the last words, and in many others that might be 
quoted, the former is assimilated to the latter in the names of places very 
naturally. Where the Gaelic has no corresponding word to tho Cymric, the 
latter usually remains unchanged or neai'ly so, so as to be still pure Welsh, 
after the lapse of ten centuries, Yours, &c., 





SIR, On reading the article on the "Faith of Ossian" in your impression 
of last month, it at once brought to my recollection what I read some sixty 
years ago in a then old magazine. The magazine was published when the 
Ossianic Controversy was hot ; when the Irish laid claim to the nativity of 
the bard for, at that time, the Irish published some poems which they 
maintained were Ossian's. The proof given in the article T read was, that 
these poems could not be genuine, as in all the poems of Ossian as published 
by us there was not one single allusion to a Deity from first to last, whereas 
the Irish, in what they called, " Urnaighe Ossian," or Ossian's Prayer (but 
which is more of a theological discussion with St Patrick than a prayer), 
showed that their Ossian had an idea of a Deity, a heaven, and hell ; but 
from such ideas I know most people would say, " Good Lord deliver us." 

I know it made such an impression on me that, even now, at this distance 
of time, I recollect every word of it as well as when [ read it. It ran as 
follows : 

Ge de t'aite do lutharna fcin, 
A Phadrnig a leughas an Scoil, 
Nach eil cho math ri FlaithcanasDlie, 
Na faitbeacl ann feidh 'us coin. 

The translation given was exactly, 

What part of hell itself 
Thou Padrig of great learning, 
But is as good as the Heaven of God 
If there are therein deer and dogs. 

I have no doubt proof of the truth of the above is to be found in the 
Advocates' Library, Edinburgh. Yours truly, 






IN continuing an outline of the operations by Britain during the twenty- 
two years of hostilities with France and her allies, and with which the 
subject of our memoir is so inseparably connected, we arrive now at what 
may be termed the beginning of the Peninsular War. A iVw words as to 
its causes. 

The King of Portugal having refused to enforce the " Berlin Decree " 
against Britain, Napoleon determined to attack that country ; and thai lie 
might be aided by Spain, lie promised that part of Portugal would bo ' 
added to it. 

The French Marshal Junot took possession of Lisbon (November 
1807) with a large force, upon which the Prince Regent and thousands 
of its inhabitants fled to the Brazils, and thereupon Napoleon was able to 
proclaim that "the monarchy of Portugal had ceased to reign." Xo sooner 
was Bonaparte in possession of Portugal than, through the treachery of 
the Spanish Minister (Godoz), he was able to turn his arms against that 
country, while General Murat was sent to occupy Madrid with a French 
division. The imbecile King of Spain was induced to renounce his 
throne in favour of Xapoleon's brother Joseph for a pension and a palace 
in Navarre. 

England having traded with Portugal (1808) on amicable terms for 
more than a century, considered her ally entitled to protection. 
It was therefore .agreed to make an eftbrt to expel the French from 
the country. Spain up to this lime had been a willing agent in the French 
occupation of Portugal, to which, although a neighbour, she bore no love : 
but when Napoleon's soldiers commenced to shed the blood of Spaniards 
in the streets of Madrid, an insurrection broke forth; their patriotism 
took fire, and war to the knife against the aggressors was proclaimed all 
over the kingdom. This established an identity of interests between 
Spain and Portugal, and a scheme was laid down for the expulsion 
of the French from the Peninsula. The amount of the British contingent 
for this object was 20,000, of which the first division was dispatched to 
Lisbon in July, under the command of Sir Arthur Wellesley. He landed 
at Mondego Bay, and marched towards Lisbon, but had not proceeded far 
when he was met by Marshal Junot at Roleca, determined to drive 
"\Vellesley into the sea, which feat he was unable to accomplish, for 
after a conflict of a few hours Junot's generals were beaten back. 
The Rifle Brigade led the way, followed by the 29th and 9th the latter 
two losing their colonels. The encounter was a desparate one.* 

* In this the iirst fight of the Peninsular "War, two Lochaber gentlemen, Ferrad, Mnjor 
John Cameron of the Ccillchcuna family, commanded a wing of the 9th Kegiment, and 
Captain Alex. Cameron had a company in the Rifles. The first died a Lieut. (General, 
K.C.B., and the second a Major-General and K.C.B, 


Wellesley continued las forward progress with an augmented 
force (1809) now numbering some 17,000 strong. He was posted at the 
village of Vimiera, where Marshal Junot came with all his disposable 
forces (about 20,000). Victory again favoured Sir Arthur. The French 
were completely routed. The British commander was Lent upon pursuit 
to the gates of Lisbon, but was interdicted by Sir Hew Dalrymple, who 
entered into negotiations with Junot, and allowed him, with his French- 
men, to evacuate the country. Sir Arthur AVellesley was not pleased 
at this interference and obtained leave to return home. The enemy was 
cleared out of Portugal for the time, and the British took possession of 


SOON after the battle of Vimiera Sir John Moore was appointed to the 
command of 20,000 men destined to co-operate with the Spaniards in 
driving the French from the north of Spain. Of this force the 79th and 
other Highland regiments formed a part. This period closed the services 
of Colonel Cameron as a regimental officer, the appointment of Com- 
mandant of Lisbon, together witli the rank of Brigadier, having been con- 
ferred on him. His personal command of the regiment therefore ceased, 
after fifteen years' unremitting and unwearied zeal, sharing its every 
privation; and his almost paternal care for ///.> native Hirjldandcrs, had 
never permitted liim to be absent from their he(Kl. He finally resigned 
the command of the regiment into the hands of his eldest son, Lieutenant- 
Colonel Philips Cameron.* 

Moore's plans for the campaign were well conceived. He advanced into 
Spain, but could get no assistance from its Government, nor was there any 
reliable information respecting the enemy attainable. The Spanish troops 
were beaten and dispersed by the French. Meanwhile Xapoleon himself 
had entered Spain at the head of some chosen troops, so that, including 
those under Soidt, their number would amount together to more than a 
quarter of a million. Bonaparte went to seek Moore that "he might 
drive the English leopards into the sea." Owing to false intelligence 
which Moore received from Mr Frere (formerly the British Minister at 
Madrid) he advanced with his dimunitive force, in hopes that he might 
attack and separate Soult's force from Napoleon's, but Soult had with- 
drawn. Moore, now apprehensive of being surrounded, commenced a 
retreat. Xapoleon was at his heels with 70,000 infantry, 10,000 cavalry, 
and 200 guns ; and so near was he that, at one time, lie could descry the 
British rear. Fortunately the career of this ruthless invader was checked 
before he could come up with the devoted band of British soldiers retreat- 
ing before him. He received news that his arms in Austria had encountered 
reverses, which he considered could only be repaired by his own presence, 
and he accordingly turned with the best part of his force towards that 
country, leaving the pursuit of Moore to Marshal Soult. The story of the 
retreat on Corunna during that wintry month of January 1809, and the 
sufferings experienced by the army, together with the fall of its illustrious 
commander at the subsequent battle, are too familiar to require repetition. 

* Historical Record, page 20 (Jamieson's). 


The 42d and 50th were eminently distinguished, Sir John Moore went 
up to the ono and bade them to " remember Egypt," and the other he 
approved by " Well done Fiftieth." The 79th under Lieutenant-Colonel 
Philips Cameron, and the 92d under Lieutenant-Colonel Xapier, were in the 
brigade of General Eraser, "a fine specimen of an open generous Highland 
chieftain, a good soldier, with plain common sense, Avhom everybody 
loved."* The British or rather the remnant left from the retreat and the 
fight embarked for England the same evening, and left Spain, for a 
season, a prey to the French. 


GENERAL CAMERON, who had been relieved as Commandant of Lisbon by 
General Sir John Craddock, was advancing towards Spain with a rein- 
forcement to Moore's army when he was placed in a most critical position 
by the unexpected retreat on Corunna. iSTevertheless he succeeded in 
conducting his force back to Lisbon, undergoing great difficulties from 
the nature of the country, and the inclemency of the weather. It was 
considerably augumented by the stragglers from Moore's army, collected, as 
they went along. For this act of perseverance General Cameron received 
the acknowledgments and personal thanks of the Commander-in-Chief. 
The preservation of so large a number of men under the circumstances 
was fortunate, inasmuch that after the delay of a week Sir John Craddock, 
with them and those at Lisbon, was able to be of considerable assistance 
to Wellington on his return to Portugal. t 

After the Battle of Corunna, Soult set forward with the design of 
seizing Oporto and so advancing upon Lisbon, in which object he had the 
aid of Generals Victor and Lapisse. The resistance of Oporto was slight, 
and the French soldiers took advantage of the tumult prevailing by in- 
dulging in indiscriminate plunder. Soult, in the first place, announced 
by proclamation that he was the representative of the French Emperor ; 
and that he intended to afford them just laws and personal liberty. 
Finally, he assured them that the hour of their deliverance from the 
bondage of England had arrived, and invited them to place confidence in 
him. Such was the state of the Peninsula when the British Government 
decided on making another effort to clear it of its invaders. The chiuf 
command was conferred on Sir Arthur Wellesley, who arrived in Lisbon 
in April. A force under the direction of Sir John Craddock had pre- 
viously moved from the capital towards the imprisoned city of Oporto, in 
which body General Cameron commanded a brigade, consisting of the 
7l)th, 83d, and 95th regiments. Sir Arthur overtook this body at ( '< -imbru, 
and immediately set about dislodging Soult from Oporto. His army 
amounted to 20,000, six thousand of whom were allotted to act as a separ- 
ate corps undcr'Marshal I'.eresford; Generals Hill and Cotton, with brigades, 
-\veiv directed towards it by way of Aveira, and Generals Sherbrooke and 
Cameron by Ovar; while the chief himself, and the remainder took 
another route. All arrived at the rendezvous as designed, but found that 

* Stocquler's History of the British army London 1S-J4. 
t Aniinal Register for 1828. 


as the bridge for crossing the Donro had been destroyed, and every boat 
removed, it became no easy matter to effect a passage. This diffi- 
culty was shortly removed by Colonel Waters finding, at some dis- 
tarce higher up, a small boat, and standing near it, the prior of a convent, 
and three peasants. He prevailed upon these to row him across. The 
deed was a daring one, for the patrols of the enemy passed to and 
fro constantly. Colonel Waters returned with the peasants, and four 
barges, into which General Paget and three companies of Buffs threw 
thenfselves. The French were surprised, became confused, and before 
they scarcely realized the state of matters the British force had crossed ; 
and soon after they were pursuing Soult out of Oporto. The slaughter 
was great, for a panic had evidently fallen upon them. The enemy was 
not far advanced when head-quarter^ were established in the house which 
Soult had so recently occupied, and Sir Arthur and his staff partook of 
the dinner Avhich had been prepared for the French Marshal.* 

The British now entered Spain to form a junction with the Spanish 
forces, but the condition of the latter was so miserable that no depend- 
ence could be placed on their co-operation. Both were in position before 
Talavera, when two French corps d'armee (Victor's and Sebastian's) 
attacked them with the utmost firry. The Spaniards, from the nature of 
the ground, were nearly out of harm's way, so that the weight of 
the combat fell entirely on the British. The battle occupied two days 
(27th and 28th July), and is reckoned to have been the best contested 
during the Avar. The French lost 7000 killed and wounded, and the 
British upwards of 5000. The victory gained Sir Arthur the title of 
Viscount Wellington of Talavera. Writing to his friend, Mr Huskisson 
of the Treasury, he says " We have gained a great and glorious victory, 
which has proved to the French that they are not the first military nation 
in the woild ; "t also adding that nearly every one of the generals were 
seriously wounded. And in his despatch he says, " I have particularly 
to lament the loss of General Mackenzie, who had distinguished himself 
on the 27th 

Brigadier Cameron is included among the general officers mentioned* 
as "meriting the Commander-in-Chief's unqualified praise for their 
gallantry during the contest." Cameron had three horses killed under 
him two on the first, and one en the second, day, and he himself was 
twice wounded severely on the 28th. 

(lo lie Continued). 

* The Marquis of Londonderry's Narrative, vol. I. (Colburn, London). 
t Greenwood's Select Despatches, Nos. 296 and 315. 

* General Mackenzie had commanded the 78fch, and will be recognised in the North 
as of "Siuldie" (Ross-shire). A monument is in St Paul's to his memory. 



THERE are certain varieties of music which may be described as belonging 
peculiarly to the Highlands of Scotland. The bagpipe stirs up the enthusia- 
ism when it sounds the war cry, enlivens the spirit when it plays the y////7r 
step, and when it peals the wail of the lament the eil'ect is sad and mourn- 
ful. The fiddle is the only instrument equal to elicit the exhilarating 
turns of reel music. The harp, in its day, was the instrument for 
keeping time and tune to the voices of our fair Highland maidens when 
singing their songs in our Highland glens and valleys. It may be said 
that the first is -the only one remaining now among the natives. The 
fiddle, the harp, and even msuical voices have almost disappeared, and 
undoubtedly the cause is, the depopulation of the country. The profes- 
sional piper is as plentiful as ever He was the appendix of chiefs, 
chieftains, and other cadets, and not the chosen discourser of music in 
the habitations of the country people. They preferred the sprightly 
springs of the fiddle when intent on the dance ; or if pouring forth the 
sweet melody of song, their choice accompaniment was unquestion- 
ably the clarsach (harp). If the art of printing has been slow in 
exhibiting itself in the northern portion of Scotland, that of music- 
printing has scarcely yet passed the bounds of the capital of the country. 
While there remained a succession of tenantry, with their Seanm-h ;<::, 
bards, and minstrels, to perpetuate our Highland melodies, by transmis- 
sion from one generation to another, we might feel no alarm for their 
safety, whether printed or not ; but, desolate with desertion, and with 
the other consequences of cruel evictions, as our Highlands have now 
become, the notice which has appeared in the Celtic Magazine 
that the Gaelic Society of London were engaged in committing as 
many as they could gather of our Highland songs and melodies to print 
possessed much interest for their votaries. Although the inhabitants of 
the Highlands are now few and sparse, yet their offspring are found in 
multiplied numbers in the southern portion of the kingdom, in India, 
and in the American and Australian colonies. To these descendants a 
collection of the songs of their ancestors, arranged for modern musical 
instruments, with the words for the voice, cannot but be acceptable. 
This exordium, brief and imperfect as it is, on the importance of contri- 
butions to one of the most engaging sections of art, leads us to notice a 
rehearsal of some twenty of the songs in their forthcoming collection, 
which the Gaelic Society recently gave at a concert held in St George's 
Hall, London. The critics of the London and provincial press have 
already written of it, and in every instance gave favourable reviews of 
the beauties of the songs and melodies. Independently of the chroniclers 
of general information, we have it, in this communication, from a reliable 
source, that the Gaelic nativity and origin of the melodies, in an English 
dress, sung by professional artistes, and accompanied with the graces 
pf appropriate symphonies by a skilled pianist, were unmistakable, 


"Wo Avill instance more particularly " Macrimmon's lament ; " " Lullaby to 
the Infant Chief" ( Cadnl </>i ti); "Sad and "Weary" (gur fro/// from, n 
ilia mi.)', rendered by Miss D'Alton with a pathos, which elicited well 
deserved applause. The dirge-like sound of the piano accompaniment to 
the first of these was as striking ns that of the "Dead March in Haul," 
and had a most impressive eifect. Miss Annie Sinclair gave the " Blanc 
Haired Laddie (An cjillc, Jub/t, ciar-iln/ilt ) with her accustomed ; 
and was acknowledged by the audience Avith general applause. Some 
revieAvers gave special prominence to the " Boatman " (Feara Bhata), sung 
by Miss Itisley as soloist, while she was joined in the chorus by a trained 
choir of thirty voices, "which aided her materially, and perhaps imparted 
a certain t/uslu to the song, and made it more effective than the others ; yi-t 
in our opinion it did not possess the chaste melody of those already men- 
tioned. Of those confided to the gentlemen singers, " The Melody of Love" 
(Gar fjile mo lean nan) was most tenderly sung by Mr Albert James ; and 
almost equally so was " Young Mary so .Fair" ( Mairi Bhan Og), rendered 
by Mr Arthur Thomas (who had tho advantage of studying its air last 
year while on a pleasure trip in the Highlands) ; " Salute to Prince 
Charlie" (Modi sa Mhaduinn) was delivered with an enthusiasm that 
would have delighted Mac Mhuicjlistir Alasdair (the author) himself. The 
humorous song of the evening, "The Martial Weaver" (Bha Olai'//><'// 
air Ian) was well treated by Mr Weige. Others need not be specially 
mentioned. The concert on the whole was quite equal, in the estimation 
of those who have a taste for the plaintive sweetness of our Highland 
melodies, to any entertainment produced in London for many a day. 
There are plenty more where the melodies and songs came from, and a 
repetition of such a rehearsal will, we have no doubt, receive the patron- 
age which the subject itself, and the patriotic and plucky action of the 
Gaelic Society of London, and its president, deserve in preserving our 
Highland melodies from oblivion. All patriotic Highlanders should save 
the Society from a financial loss, and so encourage them to another effort 
in the same direction by at once subscribing for the remaining copies of 
the "Songs and Melodies." 


lished by the Author, 1876. 

IT is well known that strong exertions are being made to foster and sup- 
port the Gaelic in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. In almost all 
the Scottish towns, as well as in the metropolis of the kingdom, there are 
societies full of enthusiasm to preserve tho manners and customs, as well 
as the music and language of the ancient Gael. It is almost unnecessary 
to allude here to the persevering and indefatigable zeal of Professor 


Ittackie to institute a Celtic Chair. That desirable, object is all but 
attained, and indeed may now be looked upon as certain and all this, 
by the inexhaustible energies of the learned gentleman alnn--. Had it 
not been for him, although of Saxon blood, that chair would never, 
perhaps, have been endowed. .No one knows better than he, the 
great advantage of such a chair, not only to the philologist, but like- 
wise to Highland preachers and teachers, and to all who love a lan- 
guage once spoken over the greater part of Europe, and a language which 
has stereotyped itself on the, topography of these extensive regions. The 
Highlands and Islands are fully alive to the advantage of having instruc- 
tion in Gaelic introduced into their schools, and to have it therein taught, 
hand in hand, with the English language. Strong representations have 
been made to the Legislature to alter the ne\v educational code, in 
so far as to give countenance and support to the teaching of their verna- 
cular tongue to Highland children. It may be interesting to know that 
this plan was advocated one hundred and thirty-live years ago by Mr. 
Alexander Macdonald, i.e., Ala* A//V Mai' M/ui i<jh si ir Alnxdnir, the Gaelic 
Bard of Ardnamurchau. This distinguished poet and Gaelic scholar was 
born about the beginning of the eighteenth century, received a classical 
education, and was the first teacher employed by the Society in Scotland 
for propagating Christian knowledge. At the request of the then Synod 
of Argyle, he prepared and .published a Gaelic and English vocabulary, 
being the first of that kind that ever appeased. He dedicated his work 
in 1741 to his patron Society, and in his preface he said: 

" The instruction of the youth in the English language is thought 
necessary to promote the charitable purpose of this Society, and to make 
those, who can speak only Gaelic, more useful members in the Common- 
wealth ; and it is certain that if this were to be carried on by teaching 
from books entirely English, without any mixture of the mother tongue, 
it would not be so speedily got done. 

" I know that by your orders we, your schoolmasters, are not to carry 
our scholars forward in reading, but as they understand what they read 
in English ; and most reasonable it is; but then 'tis a great task both to 
master and scholars, and takes long time ; whereas, we can oblige our 
scholars to get these vocables by heart, as is done in Latin schools, which 
will very much further them in their progress, and also spread the Eng- 
lish language through the country, and make those young ones more 
useful the sooner, as servants at home, and also when they come abroad 
to the Lowlands, and be employed in the navy, or army, or in any other 
service in the Commonwealth." 

"It is well known that the method of teaching any language by 
books not written in people's own language, has been very uneasy to 
youth and discouraging to their endeavours in the prof-edition of their 
studies ; whereas a regular vocables (vocabulary) in both languages put in 
their hand is a great help, not only to the masters and the scholars them- 
selves, but also to those with whom they converse 1 , and it makes tho 
English language to spread the more quickly. I, therefore, presuni'' so 
far as to oiler the following Gaelic-English vocabulary to your protoctiou 
for the use of your schools," 


These remarks by. the poet and teacher of Ardnamurchan were sound 
and reasonable. His vocabulary was a work of acknowledged merit, and 
proved to be of great service in Highland schools. .For a number of years 
thereafter, nothing appeared in print for the benefit of the Highlanders 
until the publication of the Gaelic Scriptures. Stewart's Gaelic grammar 
was the first deserving the name that issued from the press. Then as to 
dictionaries in that language, those of Armstrong and the Highland 
Society, with grammars prefixed, made their appearance. Soon thereafter 
the dictionaries compiled by Macleod and Dewar, as well as that by 
M'Alpin were given to the public, and all are works more or less creditable 
to their authors. In the same way two good Gaelic grammars were subse- 
quently published by Munro and Forbes, which proved useful volumes to 
the acquirers of that language. 

While the Gaelic is presently warmly cherished in many quarters of 
our country, and faithfully taught in some of our schools, it is pleasant to 
know that it is not neglected in our dist3iit colonies. For the last few 
years Mr George Lawson Gordon, student in divinity, taught a class in 
Gaelic grammar and literature in the province of JS T ova Scotia, Xurth 
America. It was with the view of benefitting his pupils there that this 
young gentleman thought of compiling " The Gaelic Class-Look " 
above alluded to. We respectfully think that the title which Mr Gordon 
has given to his book is entirely a misnomer. With unmerited modesty 
he calls his Avork " A Gaelic Class-Book," whereas he ought to have styled 
it by the more dignified title of " A complete Grammar of the Gaelic 
Language." This excellent and useful little volume the author has 
dedicated to "The Officers and Members of the Highland Society of Xova 
Scotia." We cannot speak of it in too high terms of commendation, as 
a concise, plain, and intelligible guide to every student desirous of acquir- 
ing a correct knowledge of the Gaelic language. Mr Gordon has been 
successful in presenting a complete, system of Gaelic grammar, and that 
in the simplest possible forms. He has prudently avoided swelling his 
little volume with critical disquisitions and hair-splitting criticisms in. 
regard to certain words and phrases of the language, which are calculated 
more to perplex than to instruct the Celtic student. His etymological 
classifications are very distinct and legitimate, while the different parts of 
speech are communicated with much distinctness, and impressed on the 
memory by a variety of plain and suitable exercises. The author has 
undoubtedly devoted a large amount of labour in investigating the subject 
of the different sections of his multum in parvo. The grammar is really 
a valuable work of the kind. It is a small volume which ought to be in 
the hands of every youth desirous of acquiring a correct knowledge of the 
mountain tongue, and of its beautiful structure. It is a book which 
should be acceptable, in a special manner, to all Highlanders, and one that 
is well fitted to rouse the interest and curiosity even of such persons as 
have not hitherto studied the language nor spoken it. A few errors have 
crept into the work, which are evidently to be laid to the charge of the 
printer, but which may be corrected in future editions. In one word, Ave 
strongly recommend the tiny volume before us to the favourable attention 
of all Highland ministers, teachers, and students ; and wish it every .success. 


No. X. AUGUST 1876. 



By J. STUART BLACKIE, Professor of Greek in the University vf Edtiiburylt. 


Test Third. But tlic translator lias another way of dealing with a 
dilliculty. Instead of shirking lie may grapple with it and overcome it, 
and in this way he may make his translation, if not absolutely better, at 
least more readily intelligible than the original. "\Vherc the connection is 
loose, he may joint it more closely. Where there is an abrupt gap he 
may bridge it over gracefully. Where there is a remote allusion he may 
save the trouble of a note by infusing into his version a slight tinge of 
commentary. As this procedure is both natural and easy, and at the same 
time proiitable to the reader, the translator will seldom fail to adopt it 
where it offers itself, and thus betray his hand by the very pains which 
lie takes to do full justice to his author. Examples : 

(1) Temora I., 670 

Theitl iadsan thar m' uaigh gun leus. 

Here the word If-n* is used with the same natural metaphor tiiat led tho 
Greek to make Apollo the god of music and poetry as \\c\\ as of light. 
The passage means, " They will pass my grave without the light and glory 
of eulogistic song." But by way of explaining this in a very easy way 
Macpherson says they will pass my grave /// sibjricei 

(2) In the same passage we have the lines 

A Cbairbre fuasgail na baird ! 
Is iadsan clan an am chaidh sios ; 
Cluinnear an guthan air ard, 
Nuair dh' aomas gu lar an siol. 

Spare the bards ; they are the children of bygone time. Clerk. 
They are the sons of future times. Marpherson. 

Evidently a commentary. The Gaelic expression must mean, the bards 
are men whose business it is to sing the praises of the past ; but this in 
the connection suggests the immortality of future fame. To indicate this 
Macpherson smuggles a commentary into his text, which in the p 



case certainly is no improvement. In no sense can poets be called the 
aons of future times ; they arc rather the fathers of future fame. 

(3) At Temora II., 448, Clerk has 

This very stone shall rise on high, 
Amid the moss of dark brown hills, 
With words to the coming years. 

Macpherson interpolates the words 

Here Cathmor and Ossian meet, 
The armies met in peace. 

This is plain paraphrastic commentary to help readers of sluggish 

(4) Temora VIIL, 153 

As comes a dread voice from the wind, 

To a ship on the grey strait of Innis Uana. Clerk. 

In this passage the caol fjlas is a descriptive picture for which 
Macpherson had no eyes j he therefore omits it altogether, and interpolates 
the word " "becalmed " a commentary to make the force of the wind 
more emphatic by contrast. 

Test Fourth. It is not often that a translator of poetry has as fine 
an imaginative instinct, and as subtle an artistic culture as the original 
author ; hence the presumption arises that the less poetical of two versions 
is tlni translation, especially Avhen the variations in this less poetical ver- 
sion have the air of prosaic explanations, or paraphrases of a poetical 
original. In one special respect even a truly poetical translator is in 
danger of falling behind his original viz., in rendering such marks of 
characteristic representation as impress themselves strongly on an eye 
vividly acted on by the direct vision of nature ; an eye seeing and marking 
minute details of special significance, such as Ruskin taught the painters 
to bring out on their canvass. No man should paint a rock in general ; 
but either sandstone, or chalk, or trap as the case may be. Now Macpher- 
son often sins against this grand principle ; so far as I have noticed in- 
deed, it was the rule with the versifiers of his age to wipe out specialities 
(as if poets were metaphysicians dealing in the most abstract !) ; but the 
author of the Gaelic, like the Highland bards generally, has a fine eye for 
nature. Examples : 

(1) In Cath-Loduinn III., 106, we read 

Till he receive the brimming shell 
From the dark-red hand of Ca-Loduinn. 

This distinctive feature is toned down by Macpherson into the common 
place "fiery-eyed," like the glaring demon of some diabolical melo-clrama 
in which men sell their souls to the devil, and feel very uncomfortable 
when their hour comes. 

(2) Cath-Loduinn III., 123 

Mar cheo a snamh air a bheinn. | Like the departure, of mist, 

This is turning wine into water. 

(3) Objects of natural history, known to the original poet, are often 


a mere vague vegetable to the translator. In this way citiseay in Carr!<-Jc- 
thura (166) becomes a reed, and dithean becomes a flower. But mountain 
grass (a species of Aim) is a very different thing from a reed; and neither 
Hums nor Wordsworth wrote poems to flowers, but to daisies, celandines, 
and daffodils. 

(4) In the same poem, v. 300, Macpherson has " the gleaming path of 
the steel winds through the gloomy ghost." How could steel icind ? 
Ghluais is simply went, or passed through. 

(5) Carthon, 101 TVc have two lines which, in a Popian couplet, 
might run pretty much thus 

And Clutha bent its welling flood aside, 
Where the huge ruin fell and choked its tide. 

But this poetry Macpherson turns into prose. "The stream of Clutha 
was removed from its place ! " After this bathos any tiling was possible. 
(G) The